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Mary E. Hoffman papers

 Collection 0053-SCPA

Mary E. Hoffman was an active teacher, composer, arranger, and guest conductor. She taught music at several public schools as well as at Columbia Teachers College and Temple University. In 1979, Hoffman was appointed professor of music education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she remained until her death in 1997. During her lifetime, Hoffman was an active member of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), now known as National Association for Music Education (NAfME). From 1980-1982, Hoffman served as MENC President and helped plan the 75th Anniversary Convention in San Antonio, Texas. The collection contains Hoffman's professional papers from her term as MENC President. It includes meeting minutes, agendas, and correspondence with MENC related organizations, councils, committees, publications, and divisions.


  • 1977-1982
  • Majority of material found within 1980-1982

Use and Access to Collection

The collection is open for research use. Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room during SCPA’s operating hours. Please contact the curator for an appointment or if you have questions related to digital access of the materials.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Copyright was not transferred to the University of Maryland with the gift of any copyrighted materials. All rights remain with the creators and rights holders. 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.

To inquire about duplication of materials for research or for publication, please contact SCPA’s curator.


4.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Mary E. Hoffman papers covers the period from 1978-1982; the bulk dates of the materials date from 1980-1982. The collection consists of professional papers primarily related to her MENC presidency including meeting minutes and agendas, publications, correspondence with related organizations and MENC divisions, as well as committee organization. Such organizations and committees include the International Society of Music Education, the editorial board of the Music Educator's Journal, and the National Music Council.


Mary E. Hoffman (b. 1927 - d. 1997) was an American teacher, composer, arranger, and guest conductor. She received her Bachelor of Science at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania in 1948 and her Master's of Music at Columbia Teachers College in New York.

Hoffman taught music at public schools in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, as well as Columbia Teachers College and Temple University. She was a supervisor of elementary and junior high music in Philadelphia and Milwaukee. From 1979-1997, Hoffman was a professor of music education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

While pursuing her teaching career, Hoffman also worked as an advocate for music education with the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), which later changed its name to the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). She served as president of the MENC North Central Division and as a member of the MENC Publications Planning Committee. In 1976, Hoffman served as chair of the MENC executive director search committee. Hoffman was elected President of MENC and served her term from 1980-1982. She was the only MENC national president to be responsible for two national conventions - 1981 in Minneapolis and 1982 in San Antonio.

Hoffman authored several important publications about music education including Teacher competency and the balanced music curriculum (1985) and Teaching music, what, how, why (1973), which she co-authored with Alice S. Beer. Hoffman was also the founder of the Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence which recognizes teaching excellence of music educators in Illinois.

Following Hoffman's death, she was inducted into the Music Educator's Hall of Fame at the Music Educator's National Conference in 1998.


This collection is organized into five series.

  1. MENC administration
  2. MENC publications and related material
  3. MENC divisions
  4. MENC 75th Anniversary convention
  5. MENC related organizations

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Mary E. Hoffman transferred her papers to the MENC Historical Center in two separate shipments; one on September 1, 1982 and one on September 7, 1982.

Related Material

National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) Historical Center (finding aid) (LibGuide)

The following materials are available in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

  1. Mary E. Hoffman Symposium on Music Education : inheriting a legacy edited by Mark L. Mecham [call number: MT1 .M166 2006]
  2. Teacher competency and the balanced music curriculum by Mary E. Hoffman [call number: MT1 .H75 1985]
Mary E. Hoffman papers
Caitlyn Callahan
January 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

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