Marie McCarthy

Professor of Music Education


Marie McCarthy is a general music specialist and has taught courses on music in the elementary and secondary school, learning theories for the music teacher, music cultures in the classroom, research methods in music education, and music teacher education. She was on the music faculty of the University of Maryland from 1990 to 2006. A former public-school teacher in Ireland, she has received numerous awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship and an Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Council for Research in Music Education.

Her research studies to date focused on the sociocultural and sociohistorical foundations of music education, in particular, the study of music transmission, the relationship between music education processes in formal settings and those in the culture at large, and the impact of music education on the development of identity in individual and collective contexts. Current research interests include the application of sociological perspectives to music transmission contexts and exploration of the spiritual dimensions of arts education.

She has written numerous articles for such publications as the Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Irish Musical Studies, Journal of Aesthetic Education, and the Journal of Research in Music Education. She is the author of the book Passing It On: The Transmission of Music in Irish Culture (Cork University Press, 1999). Her second book, Toward a Global Community: A History of the International Society for Music Education, 1953-2003, marked the 50th anniversary of the International Society for Music Education. She developed an instructional manual to accompany the book Music in Ireland, as part of the Global Music Series published by Oxford University Press.

McCarthy was section editor and contributor to the New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning. As editor of the State-of-the-Arts Series at the University of Maryland, she coordinated the publication of the proceedings of the biennial Charles Fowler Colloquium in Arts Education from 1993 to 2003. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals in music education, including the British Journal of Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, and the International Journal of Education and the Arts. She is book review editor for the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education.

McCarthy served as research chair of the Maryland Music Educators Association (1991-2001) and as national chair of the History Special Research Interest Group of the Music Educators National Conference (1998-2000).


National Teaching Diploma, Mary Immaculate College of Education, Limerick, Ireland
BA, HDE, University College, Dublin, Ireland
MM, University of Michigan
PhD, University of Michigan