Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
Faculty & Staff Activities

May 5, 2016 Activities

Advocacy, awards, presentations and papers.


Music Professors Receive Lifetime Award

A lifetime of books, teaching, seminars and innovation in musical education paid off for two Millersville professors. OAKE recently announced the winners of the OAKE Lifetime Achievement Award, Drs. Micheál Houlahan and Philip Tacka, at the 2016 OAKE National Conference in Long Beach, Calif. The award recognizes the team’s career of innovation and enduring dedication to the field of music education and music theory. As collaborators, Houlahan and Tacka have published 13 books, written countless book chapters for larger works, written over 30 articles and presented internationally on music theory, musicology, music education and perception/cognition.

Houlahan and Tacka have taught, mentored and inspired countless music educators at all levels of music education from pre-K through post-baccalaureate. Their system of music instruction, originally formulated in the early 1900s by Zoltan Kodály of Hungary, is brought to life in the “Kodály in the Classroom” series of books for elementary educators and has recently been translated into Chinese. In total, the team has published over 4,500 pages of instructional and reference material on the noted composer, ethnomusicologist, conductor and music educator, Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967).

Working with the Austin and Houston schools, Houlahan and Tacka have collaborated on several US Department of Education grants in excess of $2M to conduct teacher training in musicianship training and music pedagogy based on their research and publications.

About Micheál Houlahan, Ph.D
Micheál Houlahan the Chair of the Department of Music at Millersville University and a Professor of music theory and aural skills. A Fullbright scholar, he holds a Ph.D. in Music Theory with a minor in Kodály Studies from The Catholic University of America; a Kodály Diploma from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music/Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Hungary and the Kodály Center of America; and a fellowship in Piano Performance from Trinity College and London College of Music, London.  Additionally, his research has been supported by an International Research Exchange Grant awarded through the National Endowment of the Humanities. Along with his administrative and editorial board responsibilities, he has lectured extensively on music theory and Kodály studies in Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Netherlands, and England. Dr. Houlahan’s publications include Oxford Press textbooks in the Kodály Today series, numerous other textbooks and reference books, articles, and entries on Kodály in the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians and Oxford Bibliographies Online.

Dr. Philip Tacka

About Philip Tacka, DMA
Philip Tacka is Professor of Music at Millersville University. He received his doctorate from The Catholic University of America and completed postdoctoral work at the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest/Zoltan Kodály Pedagogical Institute in Hungary. His research interests include every aspect of music education and though he has more recently focused on music perception and cognition. He has served on editorial boards and is currently a grant evaluator on the American Fellowship Panel for the American Association of University Women. Prior to Millersville, Dr. Tacka taught music in the Department of Art, Music & Theatre at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and worked with the Georgetown University Medical School’s Institute for Cognitive and Computational Science in the neuropsychology of music perception. He regularly presents internationally on music education, music perception/cognition, and Kodály studies. He has lectured in Italy, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, the Netherlands, and England. Dr. Tacka’s publications include Oxford Press textbooks in the Kodály Today series, numerous other textbooks and reference books, articles, and entries on Kodály in the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians and Oxford Bibliographies Online.

About OAKE
OAKE (Organization of American Kodály Educators) promotes Zotan Kodály’s concept of “Music for Everyone” through the improvement of music education in schools. OAKE was founded in 1975 and boasts a variety of educational materials including collections of music for children, a DVD library, and instructional aids.

Related Links


Houlahan and Tacka website

Oxford press website (link to books)

Advocacy Days

Baker040516PAStateSystemOfHigherEd8x102Student-led teams from each of the 14 universities that comprise the State System canvassed the Capitol during Advocacy Days in April, meeting with legislators to discuss the important role the universities play in each of the campus communities, as well as in their regions and across the Commonwealth.

Millersville students, faculty and staff talked with legislators about the importance of funding higher education.

Faculty/Staff Activities

2015 ECommunities Contributor
Meghan Dinges

Meghan Dinges, director of Advancement Information Services at Millersville, recently received an “Outstanding Contributor Award” from eCommunities.  The eCommunities awards are given out each year at Ellucian Live in recognition of those community members who go above and beyond in serving their community during the previous year.  eCommunities states, “Without these individuals, who give of their time, experience and expertise, the client community would not be as healthy and active.”  Dinges was awarded for her work with “Banner Advancement.”

Dr. Laura Brierton Granruth, MSW, School of Social Work, will present, “Where did Grandma (or Grandpa’s) money go? – Understanding and Preventing the Financial Exploitation of Elders at the annual conference for the National Association of Social Workers in Washington, D.C. in June. This presentation will inform participants about pure financial exploitation of elders and the response to it in Lancaster County, Pa.  The Office of the District Attorney has established an elder abuse unit to respond to the needs of the increasing number of elderly residents.  Read more about the work of Granruth and other professors on the financial exploitation of seniors in the article, “Taking Care of Our Elders.”

Dr Rich Mehrenberg, Early, Middle, and Exceptional Education, recently presented two roundtable sessions, “Educational Misinformation and Student Teachers: Are Beliefs Grounded in Facts?” and “Hiring and Keeping Effective Adjunct Student Teaching Supervisors” at the 2016 National Student Teacher Supervision Conference at West Chester University.

Dr. Robert Spicer, Communication & Theatre, recently won second place in the debut paper category for the Law and Policy division at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) conference. The paper is titled “Conduction, Affiliation, Messages: A typology of statutes addressing political deception.”   In addition, Spicer presented a second paper at the conference, “Race/Riot/Protest: A content analysis of Baltimore’s response to Freddie Gray’s death.”  After his presentation Spicer was invited to join a panel at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr. M, P. A. Sheaffer, English, sang as an alto ringer in the All-Haydn spring concert of the Richmond Hill Sacred Music Chorale in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York City, on April 17. The Chorale sang Haydn’s “Maria Therese Te Deum” and his Paukenmesse” (“Mass in the Time of War”).

Leave a Reply