MENC President 1988-1990
Born December 12, 1929 in Lansing, Michigan.
BM in music education (played clarinet), Michigan State University, East
Lansing, Michigan, 1951
Master of Music in music literature and performance, Eastman School of Music,
PhD Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 1955
Taught 14 years in the public schools of Michigan (1956-1959), New York (1952-
1956), and Missouri
Joined the faculty of Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1966-1984
Currently a professor in Music Education, School of Music, University of Florida,
since 1984, served as head of music education for many years
(was in the same position during his presidency of MENC from 1988 to 1990)
Hoffer, Charles R. (2000). Teaching Music in the Secondary Schools, 5th ed., Schirmer
Hoffer, Charles R. (2001). Introduction to Music Education, 2nd ed., Waveland Press.
Abeles, Harold F., Hoffer, Charles R., & Klotman, Robert H. (1994). Foundations of
Music Education, 2nd ed., Wadsworth.
Hoffer, Charles R. Adventures in Music Listening (three levels)
Hoffer, Charles R. (2002). Music Listening Today, 2nd ed., Wadsworth.
(extensive use of CD-ROM material as an aid to develope listening skill among
college students who are not music majors)
Articles published in the "Music Educators Journal," "The Council for Research in
Music Education Bulletin," and the "Florida Music Director," which he edited
for five years.
Published a chapter in "Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning”
Significant Personal Accomplishment:
Was a member of the Music Education Research Council and the Publications Planning
Committee of MENC, 1966-1972
President of the Indiana Music Educators Association, 1973-1974 and
of the North Central Division of MENC, 1976-1978
National president of the MENC: The National Association for Music Education, 1988-
Has taught summer sessions at Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore and
twice at the University of Michigan.
Served on the committees that wrote the National Standards in Music and the Sunshine
State Standards for Florida
Has spoken or conducted clinics in almost every state
Active in the International Society for Music Education, during which time he read
papers or attended research conferences in Moscow, London, Tunis,
Christchurch, Mexico City, and Cambera, as well as hosting its research conference in Bloomington
Received a "Distinguished Alumni" award, Michigan State University, 1988 and
a "Hoosier Musician of the Year" award, Indiana Music Educators Association,
Inducted into the "Hall of Fame" of the Florida Music Educators Association, 1997
Father was a Professor of sociology, Michigan State University
Mother had been a nurse
Married to Marjorie Latham from 1953 until divorced in1994,
had two children, Allan, who is an attorney, and Martha, who is a family counselor.
Married to Mary ("Mimi") Johnson, who teaches music at Santa Fe Community
College in Gainesville, in 1996
Hobby writing books, traveled a great deal including every continent
Why want to be MENC president?
“One doesn't seek the office of MENC president. A nominating Committee meets, and the two candidates are then invited to stand for election. I accepted its invitation because I wanted to make the MENC a more effective organization in terms of advancing music education.”
What consider to be the greatest accomplishments and disappointments
during the term in office?
His efforts and accomplishments are contained in two articles (Journal of Music Teaching and Learning, 5:2, Summer 1994, 36 and "Coda" Music Educators Journal, 76:9, May 1990, 72).
“One can never know what the future holds, of course. The work of the curriculum and program evaluation committees could be very significant, but I think that the Professional Certification Program has the greatest potential to have a positive impact on the music education profession.” “Because it puts the spotlight on professional growth and good teaching. It’s only human for a teacher to devote attention to those things that provide rewards and recognition. So let’s recognize what after all is the heart of our work: the teaching of music. Through the Professional Certification Program, MENC encourages teachers to continue to learn and to improve their teaching.” (MEJ, May 1990)
“The National Coalition for Music Education remained active for several more years, but after 1994 the attention shifted to the National Standards. (I was one of the music authors for the National Standards.)
The master teacher program ran for a couple of years . . . and in 1993 the National Executive Board voted to terminate it and devote its efforts to the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards program. We had been trying to deal with the NBPTS people since 1987 and hoped to have the MENC program be its program for music teachers. This they refused to do. The NBPTS program has continued to drag on, and in 2001 began certifying a few music teachers.
The NBPTS program is for all teachers, not just music teachers. It was funded with Carnegie Foundation money in the late 1980s; I am not sure who is funding it now. The cost to the teacher and/or the local school board is over $1,000 per teacher.
All a teacher needs is a few years of experience and take a lot tests, none of which involved music skills. It's also very expensive. As you can tell, I took the demise of the MENC program pretty hard; it still bothers me a great deal. I could on and on regarding this, but you are looking for biographical material. The effort to restrain fund raising was a noble cause, but I am afraid my efforts had no lasting effect. Music programs are so strapped for money that they are almost forced to seek financial support beyond the school budget. There are all sorts of problems in doing this, but most teachers seem willing to tolerate them. For example, a new band director in the tiny north Florida town of Bell had a $25,000 debt to pay off for a trip the band had taken the previous year to Hong Kong!!
As you can read in the Teaching and Learning article, the purpose of MENC is not MENC, it's the advancement of music education. I hoped to make the National Executive Board think in those terms. I hope I had at least a little effect.” (Personal Interview)
Personal interview through e-mails in October 2002
Coda, MEJ, May 1990
Hoffer, Charles R. (1991). Teaching Choral Music: A Course of Study, teacher ed.,
Music Educators National Conference.
Hoffer, Charles R. (1989). The Understanding of Music, 6th ed., Wadsworth.
Hoffer, Charles R. (1979). A Concise Introduction to Music Listening, 2nd ed.,
Articles on Music Educators Journal:
Coda: Two halves of music in the schools. Music Educator Journal, 76, 1990, 95-96.
Coda: Words and actions. Music Educator Journal, 76, 1990, 87-88.
Music education and Joe Sixpacks: what is the fundamental purpose of school music
programs? Music Educator Journal, 76, 1989, 71-72.
Coda: Passion in teaching music. Music Educator Journal, 75, 1989, 71-72.
Coda: Professional certification: why? Music Educator Journal, 76, 1989, 73-74.
Coda: The MENC Professional Certification Program. Music Educator Journal, 76,
Another type of balance in school music groups. Music Educator Journal, 75, 1989, 80.
Coda: Informing Joe Sixpacks about music education. Music Educator Journal, 76,
A new frontier. (high school general music). Music Educator Journal, 75, 1989, 34-35.
Student burnout. (causes and cures). Music Educator Journal, 75, 1989, 72.
Standards in music education: What are they? Why are they important? Music Educator
Journal, 72, 1986, 50-51.
Informing others about music education. Music Educator Journal, 74, 1988, 30-33.
Critical issues in music education. Music Educator Journal, 75, 1988, 18-21.
Who controls the genie? (role of booster organizations). Music Educator Journal, 75,
Coda: Applause--who needs it? (conflict between performance and education). Music
Educator Journal, 75, 1988, 64.
Electronic keyboards: toys or teaching tools? Music Educator Journal, 75, 55-56, 1988.
Tomorrow's directions in the education of music teachers. Music Educator Journal, 73,
The big KO: how widely are Kodaly and Orff approaches used? Music Educator
Journal, 67, 1981, 46-47.
Articles on other journals:
MENC: advancing music education. The Quarterly Journal of Music teaching and
Learning, 5:2, 1994, 36-43.
So many kinds of music--so little time to teach them. ISME, 15, 1988, 126-30.
Builders of cathedrals. (also in French). Canadian Music Educator, 33:2, 1991, 8-10.
Premieres. Symphony, 41:5, 1990, 43.
Guest column. (co-operation between educators and private teachers). American Music
Teacher, 38:6, 1989, 4-5.
Percussive Arts Society announces new association with the Music Educators National
Conference. Percussive Notes, 27:1, 1988, 3.
Enrollment trends in secondary school music courses. Bulletin of the Council for
Research in Music Education, 63, 1980, 20-24.