School of Music Faculty Member Selected for Prestigious Fellowship in Israel

Marci Major in IsraelAssociate Professor Marci Major, Chair of West Chester’s Department of Music Education, returned from the Winter break with new perspectives on teaching and learning.

Major spent the break in Israel as part of the 2019/20 Winter Faculty Fellowship Program, funded in part by the Jewish National Fund. The tour is a fully-paid intensive program for full-time U.S.-based academics from recognized universities and learning institutions. Scheduled twice annually, The Jewish National Fund has brought more than 300 college and university professors to Israel in the hopes of forging connections as well as future collaborations.

Major was the only music professor chosen for the trip along with 26 other educators from across the United States. In Israel, she spent two weeks attending meetings with counterparts in music education to discuss the possibilities of shared research and differences and similarities in approaches, among other things.

Major says, “This trip was a transformative experience for me. I went to Israel with few expectations and an open mind. It was a very busy trip full of meetings and performances. The biggest takeaway for me was that I realized how much bigger I can and should think when considering what music education can mean and do.”

She adds, “In Israel, the arts are an important part of the culture. This trip allowed me to witness how music can play a greater role in society and how future teachers might serve communities through music. It’s definitely an important lesson that I can bring back to my students as we consider how I and they will make an impact on future generations.”

Major’s trip inspired her to want to one day share the Israeli culture with her students.

She says, “I want my students to experience cultures where music is understood as a part of life and used to serve. If we can understand the role music plays in people’s lives, we can advocate for its importance in public education and in communities.”

To learn more about Faculty Fellowship program visit


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