Teaching & Learning

OER Textbook Wins Music Theory Award

By Preston Waddoups |

The cover of the Open Educational Resources textbook "Foundations of Aural Skills." Inset: The book's author, USU music Professor Timothy Chenette.

The Open Educational Resources textbook Foundations of Aural Skills, which was authored by Utah State University music Professor Timothy Chenette, was recently awarded the Pedagogy of Music Theory Award by the Society of Music Theory. This annual award is given to exceptional pedagogical scholarship and resources.

The Open Education Resources (OER) team at USU Libraries aims to reduce costs for students by helping faculty find and create freely available and openly licensed teaching resources. Because these resources are freely accessible online, their impact can reach far beyond USU.??

Free public access is an important part of what makes Foundations of Aural Skills helpful to a broad audience, but the book itself is also oriented toward including and supporting those who are often left behind in music education.

Chenette writes that values like empowerment, inclusivity, creativity and holistic assessment are not yet “adequately represented in current textbooks.” In response, he aims in his textbook to recognize and cultivate a diverse set of skills to prepare students for success in a variety of musical practices. The book is inclusive in an additional sense by being compatible with screen readers.?

The digital textbook was published and hosted through the UEN Digital Press with Pressbooks, a publishing platform free to use through the Utah Education Network. Chenette was also supported with the help of a $3,000 Open Educational Resources grant from the Caine College of the Arts and USU Libraries via Friends of Merrill-Cazier Library. OER grants provide support for USU faculty to adopt, adapt or create resources that are freely available to students and educators at any institution as well as the general public, removing financial and institutional barriers to learning.

At USU alone, students will save about $8,000 for each semester Chenette’s OER textbook is used in the Aural Skills I class, which is currently offered every year. Although the book is intended to serve as the basis for a first-semester aural skills curriculum, Chenette’s “long-term goal is to support an entire aural curriculum with open resources.”?

To learn more about OER grants and resources, visit library.usu.edu/oer.


Preston Waddoups


Becky Thoms
Head of Digital Initiatives
USU Libraries


Education 330stories Arts 234stories Music 89stories Books 74stories Access 59stories

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