Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Ben Bolden

Associate Professor of Music Education
613-533-6000 ext. 77762

BMus (Carleton), B.Ed. (OISE/UT), MMus (British Columbia), PhD (Toronto)

Associate Professor of Music Education, Graduate Faculty

Dr. Benjamin Bolden, music educator and composer, is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, Canada. His research interests include arts education assessment, creativity, arts-based research methodologies, the learning and teaching of composing, community music, Web 2.0 technologies in education, teacher knowledge, and teachers’ professional learning. As a teacher, Ben has worked with pre-school, elementary, secondary, and university students in Canada, England, and Taiwan. Ben was editor of the Canadian Music Educator, journal of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association/L’Association canadienne des musiciens éducateurs, from 2007-2014. Ben is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and his compositions have been performed by a variety of professional and amateur performing ensembles. In 2016 he won the Choral Canada Competition for Choral Writing. In December 2016, following his nomination and appointment by Queen’s University, UNESCO approved Ben as the new UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning. Ben is the proud father of three rascally boys.

Research Interests

  • arts education assessment
  • creativity
  • arts-based research methodologies
  • the learning and teaching of composing
  • teachers’ professional learning
  • Web 2.0 technologies in education
Recent Publications
  • Bolden, B. (2016). Tread Softly, for SATB choir. Winner of the 2016 Choral Canada Competition for Choral Writing. Cypress Choral Music Publishers: Vancouver. Youtube performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwPdDUDIybo
  • Bolden, B. (forthcoming). Music as method: Musically Enhanced Narrative Inquiry. International Journal of Education and the Arts.
  • Bolden, B., & DeLuca, C. (2016). Making space for the magical: Leveraging assessment as an incitement for emergent learning. Assessment Matters, 10, 52-71.
  • Kukkonen, T., & Bolden, B. (2016). "Draw a tree and see what happens!": A collaborative and arts-informed exploration of emergent curriculum. Canadian Art Teacher, 14(1), 32-39.
  • Bolden, B., Linton, L., Younker, B. A., Willingham, L., Nifknafs, N., & Bartel, L.  (2015). What in music is going in? How teachers engage students with music in Ontario. The Recorder, 58(1), 12-21.
  • Bolden, B., & Nahachewsky, J. (2015). Podcast creation: A methodology for exploring self within music teacher education. Journal of Music, Technology & Education, 8(3), 243-260. 
  • DeLuca, C., & Bolden, B. (2014). Music performance assessment: Exploring three approaches for quality rubric construction. Music Educators Journal, 101(1), 70-76. 
  • Bolden, B., & Willingham, L. (2014). My story in music: Audio podcast creation as knowledge construction in music education. In S. A. O’Neill (Series Ed. & Vol. Ed.), Research to Practice: Vol. 6. Music and media infused lives: Music education in a digital age (pp. 141-160). Waterloo, ON: Canadian Music Educators’ Association. 
  • Bolden, B. (2013). Learner-created podcasts: Students’ stories with music. Music Educators Journal, 100(1), 75-80.
  • Bolden, B. (2012). The Funky Mamas: Learning to create and perform music for young children within a community of practice. International Journal of Community Music, 5(2), 111-130.
  • Bolden, B. (2012). Personhood and music learning as a Funky Mama. In S. A. O’Neill (Series Ed. & Vol. Ed.), Research to Practice: Vol. 5.  Personhood and music learning: Multidisciplinary perspectives and narrative voices (pp. 41-61). Waterloo, ON: CMEA. 
  • Bolden, B. (2012). Cross-country check-up: A survey of music education in Canada’s schools. In Beynon, C. & Veblen, K. (Eds.), Critical perspectives in Canadian music education (pp. 21-37). Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 
Selected Musical Compositions & Notable Performances
  • Bolden, B. (2013). Is Somebody Singing, (arrangement) for choir and piano, commissioned by the Coalition for Music Education. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhBn62kLxeI)

    • performed by elementary and secondary school choirs across Canada, with the songwriter, astronaut Chris Hadfield, for the 7th annual national event: Music Monday, May 6, 2013.
  • Bolden, B. (2012). Muffin Man, Oranges, and Sixpence, for SSAA unaccompanied choir, commissioned by Philomela Women’s Choir, University of Victoria, and premiered at the UVic School of Music, April 4, 2012. (http://benjaminbolden.ca/composing/muffin-man/)

  • Bolden, B. (2011). Manitoba, for String Orchestra, commissioned by the University of Toronto School of Music. (http://benjaminbolden.ca/composing/manitoba/)

    • premiered by the North Toronto Strings at the U of T School of Music, ON, May 16, 2011
    • performed by students of four high schools as part of the 61st Annual Sounds of Toronto Secondary Showcase Concert, Massey Hall, April 4, 2012.
  • Bolden, B. (2007). St. John’s, 1828, for wind ensemble commissioned by the Hart House Winds. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvr4VC_1wlM)

    • premiered by the Hart House Winds, Toronto, April, 2007
    • performed by the University of Victoria Wind Symphony, Victoria, Feb. 16, 2008.
    • featured in the DVD, ‘Appassionato: The Wellington Winds Story’ released October, 2012. 
  • Bolden, B. (2007). Asikathali, for Choir and piano, published by Cypress Music. (http://benjaminbolden.ca/composing/asikathali/)

    • performed at the Toronto District School Board’s 61st Annual Sounds of Toronto Secondary Showcase Concert, Massey Hall, April 4, 2012.
    • performed by the Academy Choir of the RCM, Toronto, April, 2011.
  • Bolden, B. (2006). Easter Antiphon, for unaccompanied SATB choir. Commissioned by the Laurier University Chamber Choir. (http://benjaminbolden.ca/composing/easter-antiphon/)

    • premiered by the Laurier University Chamber Choir, Waterloo, April 3, 2006.
  • Bolden, B. (2003). Requiem of Ice and Snow, for unaccompanied SATB choir. Commissioned by the Bell’Arte Singers. (http://benjaminbolden.ca/composing/requiem-of-ice-and-snow/)

    • premiered by the Bell’Arte Singers, Toronto, March, 2003.
    • performed by Lyrica Chamber Choir, Barrie, ON, April 5, 2008.
    • performed by the Western University Chamber Choir, London, ON, Oct. 29 and Nov. 16, 2011. 
  • Bolden, Benjamin. (2001). The Holly and the Ivy; Coventry Carol; I Saw Three Ships for unaccompanied SATB choir. Commissioned by St. Andrew’s United Church, Toronto. Published by Cypress Music Publishing, Vancouver. (http://cypresschoral.com/Composers/Bolden.html)