Associate Dean for the Arts; Professor of Music Education
101 Walnut Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540
Frank Abrahams is professor of music education and associate dean for the arts for Continuing Education at Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts. A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Abrahams holds degrees from Temple University and New England Conservatory. In addition to his work in music education and administration, he enjoys an active career as a pianist, choral conductor and in music theater. He is the founder of the Westminster Music Theater Workshop, a summer program of high school actors and singers held on the Westminster campus. In addition, he is founder and conductor of the Westminster Conservatory Youth Chorale.
Dr. Abrahams has pioneered the development of a critical pedagogy for music education. This new teaching model encourages music teachers and ensemble conductors to adapt instruction and rehearsal technique to address individual differences in learning styles and empowers students to be musicians. By engaging students in critical thinking, critical action and critical feeling in music, the materials are liberating, and enable students and their teachers to connect “their” music to the world beyond the classroom. His lessons form the foundation for the general music curriculum at Westminster Academy, the laboratory school of the Music Education department and Westminster Conservatory, and his pedagogical ideas provide the framework for Westminster’s undergraduate and graduate music education curricula.
Abrahams is a frequent presenter at the Music Educators National Conference and is co-author of Case Studies in Music Education, published by GIA, now in its second edition. He is author of a chapter on national standards in the choral program in the text Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume 1, also published by GIA, and co-editor of the forthcoming Teaching Music Through performance in Middle School Choir. He is co-author of a chapter in the forthcoming text, Perspectives on Urban Music Education, published by MENC, the national association for music education. He has authored several articles on critical pedagogy for music education which have been published in the Music Educators Journal, Update: Applciation sof Research in Music Education, Arts Education Policy and Review, and Visiosn of Research in Music Education. He is the senior editor of Visions of Research in Music Education, and served as editor for the Westminster Conservatory Youth chorale Jewish Music Series published by Transcontinental Music Publications and distributed by Hal Leonard.
In 2004, Abrahams spent three months in Brazil lecturing on critical pedagogy for music education in Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Recife. He taught at the Federal Universities of Santa Maria, rio Grande do Sul, Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro. In Recife he served as a guest conductor of the Coro Universitario at the Federal University of Pernambuco. In September of 2005 he was a featured presenter at the Fifth International Colloquium on Multiculturalism and Education at the Paulo Freire Institute in Recife. In Brazil his articles are published in Revista da ABEM, the journal of the Brazilian Music Educator’s Association.