Hoffman, Mary E. (1926-1997) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Hoffman, Mary E. (1926-1997)
Fuller Form: Mary Ekert Hoffman

Historical Note:

Mary E. Hoffman was known for her work as an elementary and junior high school music teacher, professor of music education, author of music textbooks and arranger of choral music. She was born on October 18, 1926 in Reading, PA, and received a B.S. in Music and Music Education from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA in 1948. She received her master's degree from Teachers College at Columbia University in 1951 and later pursued doctoral studies at Northwestern University.

During her early career as a music educator, she taught choral, instrumental and general music for ten years in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Connecticut public schools. She subsequently served as the elementary vocal music supervisor for the Philadelphia Public School System for five years, and later served as the junior high school music supervisor in Milwaukee, WI.

Hoffman joined the faculty of the University of Illinois' School of Music at Urbana-Champaign in 1972, where she remained until her retirement in May of 1996. She served as president of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) from 1980-1982, and was renowned internationally as a leader in the field of education, specifically middle school music education. She authored five editions of the public school textbooks, World of Music and The Music Connection (Silver Burdett Co.) and several publications about music education including Teacher Competence and the Balanced Music Curriculum (MENC, 1985), and Teaching Music, What, How, Why (1973) which she co-authored with Alice S. Beer. She also wrote arrangements of choral music for junior high school students, and served as a guest conductor, speaker and clinician at nationwide and international engagements.

Hoffman received recognition for her contributions to music education through alumna citations from Lebanon Valley College and Teachers College, and the Distinguished Service Award from MENC. Hoffman died on March 18, 1997, and was inducted posthumously into the Music Educator's Hall of Fame during the annual meeting of the Music Educator's National Conference in 1998.

Note Author: Caitlin Cakora, Elizabeth DiVincenzo, Deana Greenfield

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