Music Education: The Case of Annie Curwen

  • Erin Johnson-WilliamsEmail author
Living reference work entry


During the Victorian era, male writers dominated the field of publications on music education despite the fact that a large component of the music teaching profession was female. One notable exception to this rule was Annie Curwen (1845–1932), known more frequently during her lifetime as Mrs. J. Spencer Curwen, whose widely circulated writings and public lectures laid out an accessible, child-centered psychology of music teaching. A generally forgotten writer on music pedagogy, Curwen was a remarkably successful public figure by the end of the nineteenth century, delivering prestigious lectures across Britain that were buoyed by the success of her first book The Child Pianist (1886). Her innovative contributions to how child psychology can be applied to music teaching still bear relevance for music teachers today.


Due to the fact that male authors overwhelmingly dominate the field of writing about music education in the nineteenth century, the life and works of...


Annie Curwen Psychology of teaching Music education Reception Tonic sol-fa 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Durham UniversityDurhamUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More College, University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada