Bennett Reimer (1932-2013) was an American music educator and scholar. He received a Bachelors degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1954, and later received an MS and Ed.D from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1955 and 1963.
Reimer took several academic appointments, including the Richmond Professional Institute, College of William and Mary from 1955 to 1957, Madison College from 1958 to 1960, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1960 to 1965. Reimer also held the Kulos Chair of Music Education at Case Western University from 1965 to 1978, and the John W. Beattie Chair of Music Education at Northwestern University from 1978 to 1997.
Reimer’s writing, teaching, and lecturing covered a diversity of topics including philosophy of music education, aesthetic education, curriculum theory, research theory, multicultural issues, musical intelligences, interdisciplinary arts principles, teacher education, international music education issues, and applications of cognitive psychology to music learning. A Philosophy of Music Education, published in 1970 (with second and third editions published in 1989 and 2003), did much to shape philosophical discourse in music education, arguing for an expanded and comprehensive music pedagogy that focuses on more than performance and that enhances children’s abilities to engage in aesthetic perceptual structuring. Reimer believed the value of music education is determined by the value of music itself, and the goal of music education should be to make these musical values available to all through comprehensive education and musical experiences and should be built on a strong philosophy of music education. Reimer also firmly believed music shapes and enhances human life through experiencing, creating, and sharing music with one’s self and others. Reimer argued music’s ability to evoke emotional reactions is a defining characteristic of the art, and in turn, music education could be considered the education of feeling. Reimer influenced the development of the National Standards movement, refereed literature in music education philosophy, and composition education for K-12 students.
Reimer was director of and participant in many national and international projects, and lectured and presented keynote addresses worldwide. Other notable publications of Reimer’s include Toward an Aesthetic Education (1971), Silver Burdett Music Grades 1-8 (1974), The Arts, Education and Aesthetic Knowing (1992), (as co-editor) On the Nature of Musical Experience (1992), and Seeking the Significance of Music Education (2009), as well as over 150 articles and chapters and two dozen books on arts education. He was inducted into the Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2002, and received the Senior Researcher Award from the Music Educators National Conference in 2008. Reimer died in 2013.
Reimer, B. (2003). A philosophy of music education: Advancing the vision. Pearson College Div.
Reimer, B. (2000). Performing with Understanding: The Challenge of the National Standards for Music Education. National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191.
Reimer, B. (2009). Seeking the significance of music education: Essays and reflections. R&L Education.