Zimmerman, Marilyn Pflederer (1929-1995) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Zimmerman, Marilyn Pflederer (1929-1995)
Variant Name: Mary Zimmerman

Historical Note:

Music educator and researcher Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman was born in Peoria, Illinois. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1951, with a Bachelor of Music degree and majors in Piano and Music Education. She earned a Master's of Science degree in 1955 and a Doctor of Education degree in 1963, both from the University of Illinois, and both in Music Education.

Her teaching career began with three years of elementary and junior high school general music instruction in Illinois. She was an instructor at Illinois Wesleyan from 1955-1956. She then served for three years on the music education faculty of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, before returning to the University of Illinois as an instructor from 1959 to 1964. From 1964 to 1968 she served as associate professor at Northwestern University. On December 16, 1967, she married Vernon Zimmerman and returned to the University of Illinois for three years as visiting associate professor from 1968 to 1971. She also served as visiting associate professor at Illinois State University, The College-Conservatory of Cincinnati, the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Victoria. She served as director of the Music Program at Temple University in 1978-1979 and was the Distinguished Flora Stone Mather visiting professor at Case Western University in 1980-1981. In 1987, she returned to the University of Illinois School of Music as Professor of Music Education, a position she held until 1993.

Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman's research focused on music education, with emphases in early childhood education and the study of cognitive influences on the musical learning of children. In 1968 she conducted, with Lee Sechrest, an H.E.W. Research Project entitled "How Children Conceptually Organize Musical Sounds." She served as editor of the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and on the editorial review board of The Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning. During her research career she published more than fifty articles in various journals in her field. She also participated regularly in the International Society for Music Education. Many of Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman's writings are available in the book On musicality and milestones : selected writings of Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman : with contributions from the profession edited by Mark Robin Campbell and published by the University of Illinois School of Music in 2002.

In 1991 Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman and her husband established the Vernon and Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman Foundation, which provided funds for doctoral fellowships, conferences and other scholarships relating to early childhood education and cognitive learning in early music education. The Foundation remains active as of February 2010.

Sources: 12/05/047. Box 3. Folder 18: Funeral announcements and correspondence, 1992-1995
Note Author: Noah Lenstra

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