2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference 2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference

I Have To Teach What? - Popular Music Courses at the Secondary Level

- MST
Bartolin Hall E-213/214

Tom Chapman
Lewis-Palmer High School, Director of Bands and Popular Music Studies

Mr. Tom Chapman is in his 14th year of teaching and currently he serves as the Director of Bands and Popular Music Studies at Lewis-Palmer High School. Previous positions have included Beginning Band Teacher and District Beginning Band Coordinator for the Lewis-Palmer School District and PreK-12 Band and General Music Teacher for the Kit Carson School District. Mr. Chapman also serves as District 5 Representative for the CMEA Instrumental Council. He holds a Master of Music Education from the University of Colorado - Boulder and his Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado.


Whether a push from administrators, the community, or as a necessary class to fill out FTE, many secondary music educators are being handed popular music courses as part of their teaching loads. Often educators are assigned these courses with little to no curriculum support or training. This session will look at taking these classes and turning them into a robust program of study in popular music in a way that honors why students take these classes, acknowledges their limits as electives, and respects the time and energy of a secondary music educator that is already spread thin. Topics will include courses (guitar, history, and recording and songwriting), curriculum development, assessment, and recruitment and scheduling.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials: