You are here

Music Educators Journal

Music Educators Journal

Published in Association with National Association for Music Education

eISSN: 19450087 | ISSN: 00274321 | Current volume: 110 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Quarterly

Music Educators Journal (MEJ) offers peer-reviewed scholarly and practical articles on music teaching approaches and philosophies, instructional techniques, current trends and issues in music education in schools and communities and the latest in products and services.

Most issues include Readers Comment (letters from readers); NAfME Today (news for music educators); Samplings (summaries of recently published articles from other NAfME journals, including Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, General Music Today, and Update: Applications of Research in Music Education); and video and technology reviews. Occasional Idea Bank columns present tips from practitioners at all levels

Other NAfME journals can be found at

Journal of General Music Education (
Journal of Music Teacher Education (
Journal of Research in Music Education (
Update: Applications of Research in Music Education (


Music Educators Journal offers peer-reviewed scholarly and practical articles on music teaching approaches and philosophies, instructional techniques, current trends and issues in music education in schools and communities and the latest in products and services.

Chair and Academic Editor
Doug Orzolek University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN, USA
Past Editor
Corin T. Overland University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA
Associate Editor
Lisa Martin Bowling Green State University, USA
Executive Director and CEO
Christopher Woodside Executive Director, National Association for Music Education, USA
Director of Communications
John Donaldson Assistant Executive Director for Professional Development and Publications, National Association for Music Education, USA
Amy Bradley National Association for Music Education, USA
Marketing Communications Manager
Catherina Hurlburt National Association for Music Education, USA
Graphics & Branding Specialist
Abigail Gyamfi National Association for Music Education, USA
Amy Bradley National Association for Music Education, USA
Editorial Committee
Daniel J. Albert University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA, USA
Jacob Berglin Florida International University, FL, USA
Cara Bernard University of Connecticut, USA
Chris Bulgren Georgia Southern University, GA, USA
Matthew S. Clauhs Ithaca College, NY, USA
Kimberly Councill University of Utah, UT, USA
Mara Culp University of Rochester-Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, USA
Donna Gallo University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA
Cody E. Gifford Dalian American International School, Dalian, China
John Kratus Independent Scholar, USA
Edward R. McClellan Loyola University New Orleans, LA, USA
Kelly A. Parkes Columbia University, New York City, NY, USA
Seth Taft University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
Jui-Ching Wang Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA
Kristina Weimer University of Northern Colorado, USA
Hyesoo Yoo Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University School of Performing Arts, USA
Michael Zelenak Alabama State University, Montgomery, USA
Advisory Committee
Julie Bannerman University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
James O. Bowyer II McPherson College, McPherson, KS, USA
Christopher Brandt Graceland University, IA, USA
Eric Branscome Texas A&M University-Commerce, TX, USA
Kelly Bylica Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Robert Franzblau Rhode Island College, RI, USA
Nancy L. Glen University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA
Lori Gray Boise State University, USA
Alyssa Grey Berry College, USA
Timothy J. Groulx University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Josef M. Hanson University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA
John Hart Keene State College, NH, USA
David M. Hedgecoth Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Edward (Ted) C. Hoffmann University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL, USA
Michael W. Hudson University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA
Jamila L. McWhirter Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, USA
Kathleen A. Melago Slippery Rock University, Butler County, PA, USA
Bryan E. Nichols Pennsylvania State University, Centre County, PA, USA
Emmett O’Leary Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, VA, USA
Bryan Powell Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, USA
Gareth Smith Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
John B. Wayman University of Texas, Arlington, USA
Brian N. Weidner Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Erin Zaffini Keene State College, Keene, NH, USA
  • Academic Search - Premier
  • Academic Search Alumni Edition
  • Academic Search Elite
  • Advanced Placement Fine Arts & Music - Gale
  • Clarivate Analytics: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • EBSCO: MasterFILE Elite
  • EBSCO: MasterFILE Premier
  • EBSCOhost: Academic Search Complete
  • EBSCOhost: Current Abstracts
  • ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • EdResearch Online (a subset of the Australian Education Index)
  • Educational Research Abstracts Online (T&F)
  • Educator's 200 - Gale
  • Fine Arts and Music Collection - Gale
  • Gale: Academic OneFile
  • Gale: Educator's Reference Complete
  • Gale: General OneFile
  • RILM: Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale
  • Scopus
  • The Music Index
  • Wilson Education Index/Abstracts
  • Guidelines for Contributors

    Music Educators Journal (MEJ) is a peer-reviewed journal that encourages music education professionals to submit manuscripts about all phases of music education in schools and communities, practical instructional techniques, teaching philosophy, and current issues in music teaching and learning. The main goal of MEJ, like that of NAfME, is to advance music education.

    Unless specifically noted, articles in MEJ do not necessarily represent the official policy of the National Association for Music Education.

    MEJ articles are refereed by practicing professionals who judge manuscripts on their importance, originality, timeliness, scope, accuracy, and style. Approximately six manuscripts are accepted as articles for publication in each issue. These guidelines pertain to those manuscripts. Manuscripts submitted for consideration as full-length articles should be characterized by the following:

    Clarity. Articles should be written in a straightforward, conversational style that avoids unnecessary jargon, technical language, and excessive reliance on long quotations from other sources.

    Grounding. While MEJ is not a research journal, submissions should be grounded in the professional literature. Articles with no citations or reference to previous work in the area will not be considered for publication.

    Brevity. The main text of manuscripts should be no more than 12 pages in length, excluding the abstract and references. Text should be presented in 12-point font with double-spacing throughout. End notes (beyond references) should be kept to a minimum and may be edited for brevity prior to publication.

    Usefulness. Articles should address the needs of the many music educators who read the journal and should not have been previously published elsewhere. Authors should avoid personal asides that are not relevant to the primary topic, as well as content that promotes a person, performing group, institution, or product.

    Strategic Plan. Authors should briefly review the NAfME Strategic Plan at to include information in their submissions on one or more of the following topics: Advocacy, Serving the Profession and the Music Educator, Research, and NAfME Organizational Vitality.

    Manuscript Submissions

    Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to Authors will be required to set up an online account on the Sage Track system powered by ScholarOne. From their account, a new submission can be initiated.

    Authors will be asked to provide the required information (author names and contact information, abstract, keywords, etc.) and to upload the “title page” and “main document” separately to ensure that the manuscript is ready for an anonymized review. The site contains links to an online user’s guide (Get Help Now) for help navigating the site. Submit a manuscript file, plus a separate page with the title, authors’ names and affiliations, keywords, and complete contact information for the corresponding author (mail and e-mail addresses as well as telephone and fax numbers).

    Manuscripts should follow the Chicago Manual of Style (latest edition). The main text of manuscripts should be approximately 3,500 words (12 double-spaced typed pages). See “MEJ Departments” for manuscripts that are significantly shorter than 3,500 words. Authors of manuscripts with main texts exceeding 12 double-spaced typed pages may be asked to shorten their manuscripts prior to review. Especially welcome are topics of value, assistance, or inspiration to practicing music teachers.

    Digital/media content associated with a scholarly (featured) Music Educators Journal manuscript is considered manuscript content. All such content will be evaluated by members of the MEJ Editorial Committee as part of the manuscript review process.

    Submission of a manuscript implies commitment to publish in the journal. Please state in your cover letter that the material has not been published elsewhere in substantially similar form or with similar content.

    Please note that this journal does not allow submissions from papers that are already available as a preprint.

    Format of Submissions

    A cover letter includes the author’s name, address, daytime phone number, e-mail address, mailing address, and title or position.

    You will be asked to include an abstract with your submission. Your abstract is a way to inform readers of the contents of your article and entice the reader to continue investigating your work. Another way to think about an abstract is that it should explain or summarize what your first paragraph cannot explain. For our purposes, please submit an abstract that contains four sentences:

    • Sentence 1: Your abstract should begin with a statement or query that will draw the reader to your text. The first sentence may express the purpose for conducting a study, describe the problem/challenge that you will address in the text, or provide an overview of your primary thesis.
    • Sentences 2 and 3: A second and third sentence should summarize the “heart” of the article; the main thesis or primary ideas represented within. If your article is a report of research, summarize the research method, context, participants, and how you collected and analyzed data. This can be the end of a first paragraph and, for articles written as essays or innovative/best practices, this will be enough. For a report of research, you can use a second paragraph to summarize findings in a few sentences.
    • Sentence 4: A final sentence can invite the readers to consider the implications for teaching practice.

    Note: the abstract submitted here is intended for reviewers; it will serve as the basis for the published abstract written in collaboration with the NAfME editorial staff.

    The article should be double-spaced with pages numbered. The author’s name and current institution should not appear anywhere in the manuscript itself but should be included in the accompanying cover letter. Manuscripts may be written using a first-person point of view. However, when referencing their own work, authors should either write in the third-person (allowing for complete references) or create placeholders for corresponding references listing only “Author’s Work” and nothing further. The inclusion of title and journal information allows for an author’s identity to be readily established. Once the manuscript reaches the final stage of review, complete reference information may be requested so that the submission can be fully assessed.

    Music examples, figures, photographs, and other illustrations must be checked for accuracy before submission.If any copyrighted materials are used, documentation verifying that the author has permission to use the material must be included. You will be asked to complete a Request for Permission to Reprint Material form.

    Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to publish any author-submitted photographs or illustrations, and written permission to Sage of a parent or guardian of any minor pictured is needed before such images are published. You will be asked to complete an Audio/Visual Likeness Release form.

    Tables and figures should be kept to a minimum, be self-explanatory, and supplement (not duplicate) the text. Tables should be placed at the end of the file, following text and references, with callouts for each in the text. Elements in tables should be separated by tabs, not cells or lines. High-resolution figures should be uploaded as separate electronic files, with callouts for each in the text. Acceptable file formats for figures include TIFF, EPS, and JPEG, and PDF Microsoft Application Files are acceptable for vector art (line art). (Please do not send glossies.)

    Up to three photographs are a welcome part of accepted articles. Each photograph must be accompanied by a short caption and photo credit information. Please contact Amy Bradley at if you feel it is necessary to have more than three photographs included with your article. Acceptable file formats for photographs include TIFF, EPS, and JPEG, and PDF Microsoft Application Files are acceptable for vector art (line art).

    MEJ Departments. Short, practical articles (500–1,000 words) containing ideas music educators can use in the classroom are always welcome for submission to Idea Bank (contact Amy Bradley at for details). NAfME members are also invited to review technology and videos; see the guidelines for writing reviews at

    Policies. All manuscripts accepted for publication are edited to conform with MEJ style policies, which are based on The Chicago Manual of Style (latest edition). We use endnotes, not the author-date system. Manuscripts may also be edited to meet the requests of the Editorial Committee or to fit available space. Edited copy is sent electronically to the author for approval before publication. Peer review is double anonymized and final decisions about scheduling of publication, style, title, presentation, grammar, artwork, and deleted passages remain with the editor.

    Authorship. All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    Acknowledgments. All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Funding. MEJ requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    Declaration of conflicting interests. MEJ encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends authors review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway. Please include any declaration in file separate from the main text, after any acknowledgements, under the heading “Conflicts of Interest.” When making a declaration, the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that all authors of the article has with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article.

    Audio-Video Policy. Because Music Educators Journal (MEJ) primarily reaches members of the National Association for Music Education in digital form, authors are welcome to supplement their articles with high-quality sound and visual elements that enhance the presentation of their ideas.

    • Digital/media content associated with a scholarly (featured) Music Educators Journal manuscript is considered manuscript content. All such content will be evaluated by members of the MEJ Editorial Committee as part of the manuscript review process.
    • Each MEJ article can have a maximum of 25 gigabytes (GB) of storage.
      • Audio files should be limited to 10 megabytes (MB) because the user download experience can be cumbersome if the files are too large. MP3 files are required.
      • Videos can be larger files, up to 75 GB. Required formats are AVI and MP4, both of which are recognized by PC and Mac systems.
    • Sage Publications, which archives MEJ data, does not modify the files in any way, so to make sure readers have quick access, authors are advised to provide optimized file types and compression. Authors are reminded that most MEJ data is accessed through phone and tablet devices, and audio-video files must play smoothly on these devices.

    Sage Audio-Visual Likeness Release form needs to be signed for any audio-video footage and/or recordings.

    Publication Ethics. Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics' International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

    • Plagiarism. MEJ and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the Journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. When an article, for example, is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
    • Prior Publication. If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway

    For more information, please refer to the Sage Manuscript Submission Guidelines

    Copyright. MEJ is copyrighted as an entity, so authors must transfer copyright to NAfME.

    ORCID. As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

    The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    Peer Review. MEJ adheres to a rigorous double-anonymized reviewing policy for all research articles. The identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties.

    At least three reviewers read each manuscript and provide feedback. Sage does not permit authors to suggest or recommend reviewers at any stage of the submission process through the web-based submission system or other communication.

    The editors or members of the editorial board may submit manuscripts for possible publication in the journal; however in these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternate reviewers and editors. The submitting editor/board member will not be involved in the decision-making processes.

    Institutional Subscription, E-access

    Institutional Subscription & Backfile Lease, E-access Plus Backfile (All Online Content)

    Institutional Subscription, Print Only

    Institutional Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)

    Institutional Subscription & Backfile Lease, Combined Plus Backfile (Current Volume Print & All Online Content)

    Institutional Backfile Purchase, E-access (Content through 1998)

    Institutional, Single Print Issue