Music at Lincoln junior high (Minneapolis) and the Lincoln junior high girls' band: 1923-1940

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Examination of the music opportunities available to students in the junior high schools of the early twentieth century lends historical perspective to current challenges facing middle level music educators. This article describes the specific music offerings at Lincoln Junior High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from the school opening in 1923 to 1940, when financial challenges forced the reorganization of the music program. In many ways, the music curriculum at Lincoln Junior High School in Minneapolis was exemplary of the music experiences found in other junior high schools. The required curriculum was based on the general music model of the elementary school and included music appreciation and a strong emphasis on the development of music reading skills. Extracurricular "clubs" provided performance opportunities for young adolescent musicians. Choruses focused on preparing large-scale productions such as operettas and musicals, while instrumental groups participated in contests and festivals. Performances for school assemblies and civic groups provide evidence of the importance of connections to the community for junior high schools. The formation of the Girls' Band at Lincoln in 1924 was unusual. In the absence of direct evidence, I postulate possible explanations for the founding of this unique ensemble.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Band
  • History
  • Junior high school
  • Minneapolis
  • Women's band


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