Music educators and researchers regularly seek new ideas and current information about effective teaching and learning at all levels of instruction. The vast quantity of completed studies, and the time required to review, edit, and publish them, often puts readers at a disadvantage when trying to collect and organize current, relevant literature on a given topic. The MENC Handbook of Research on Music Learning provides excellent syntheses of the most recent research on multiple topics with “a laserlike focus on what is at present known about learning [italics added for emphasis] in music” (p. v).

This handbook provides a thorough, critical examination of the literature surrounding key topics in music education, suggests potential applications to music classes and rehearsals, and offers thoughtful suggestions for further studies along each line of research discussed. Researchers, professors, teachers, and graduate students will appreciate the depth of content, carefully and thoughtfully placed in current social, cultural, and educational contexts.

The book is split into two volumes: Volume 1, Strategies; and Volume 2, Applications. The first volume focuses on factors affecting readiness to learn and the learning process in general, while the second volume highlights particular applications of research in typical music learning situations. Each chapter in both volumes represents the expert work of a particular contributing author or authors on that topic. Overall, the writing style of all authors is excellent; they provide depth and breadth of information in an accessible style, and include any background information necessary to assure understanding of their work.