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Irma H. Collins papers

 Collection 0382-SCPA

Irma Helen Collins (b. May 15, 1930) is a music educator, musician, and author. She had a long career in collegiate level teaching, and was involved in the creation of the Journal of Music Teacher Education. She is also the author of the Dictionary of Music Education. This collection contains papers, correspondence, photographs, and other media relating to her career in music education.


  • 1940-2013, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1954-1998

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the physical gift of the materials. The donor, her heirs, or her publishers retain any copyright possessed in the papers. The University of Maryland Libraries is granted permission for the use in scholarly research by the Libraries’ patrons under fair use in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.


9 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The Irma H. Collins papers covers the period from 1940 to 2013; the bulk of the materials date from 1954 to 1998. The collection consists of both personal and professional papers including unpublished and published writings, correspondence, addresses, programs, reports, memorabilia, clippings, recordings, and articles. Materials relate to Dr. Collins’ work as a music educator and consultant, including her work with various music education organizations such as the Kentucky Music Educators Association, the Society of Music Teacher Education, and the Music Educators National Conference for which she was a former chairperson. Materials related to her work creating the Journal of Music Teacher Education (JMTE) are also included.

Historical Note

Irma Helen Collins (née Hopkins) was born on May 15, 1930 in Horatio, Arkansas. As a student at Ouachita Baptist College (now known as Ouachita Baptist University), she began her studies as journalism major and won awards for her writing, but then pursued music. She graduated from Ouachita in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts in violin and speech; Southwestern Seminary with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice and choral conducting; Master of Music degree in voice from George Peabody College in Nashville, and earned a doctorate in musical arts at Temple University. Dr. Collins taught at Mars Hill College, George Peabody College, West Virginia Wesleyan College, the University of Pittsburgh, and then at Murray State University, where she served for seventeen years and was later named a professor emerita in music education there. She also spent time teaching as an adjunct professor at Shenandoah University. While studying for her Master of Music degree at Peabody College, she was a violinist in the Nashville Symphony. Dr. Collins served as national chairperson for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME, formerly the Music Educators National Conference (MENC))'s Society for Music Teacher Education, where she founded the Journal of Music Teacher Education. She also worked as a consultant for academic music programs, travelling to universities to observe music programs, creating detailed reports with suggestions for improvement. She was also a member of a task force on music education for the MENC, evaluating learning standards and the goals of music education as a whole. While teaching at Shenandoah University, Dr. Collins wrote Dictionary of Music Education (2013) published by Rowman and Littlefield. She retired as adjunct professor of music education at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia.


This collection is organized into one series:

  1. Irma H. Collins papers

Custodial History

Gift of Irma H. Collins December 2015 with ongoing accruals.

Related Materials

National Association for Music Education Historical Center, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland. (finding aid)

Collins, Irma. Dictionary of Music Education. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2013. Print. (Catalog Record)

Collins, Irma H. 1998. “A New Life for General Music.” General Music Today 11 (3): 7–10. (Catalog Record)

Jada Twitty
April 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States