John Feierabend of Simsbury was honored at the University of Hartford's 53rd annual Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16, with the James E. and Frances W. Bent Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity.
Feierabend holds many titles at The Hartt School of the University: director of the music education division, chair of undergraduate music education, and professor of music education.
He is also one of the country's leading authorities on music and movement development in early childhood. As a music educator for more than 30 years, Feierabend has collected, preserved, and taught the diverse folk music of America and used that folk music as a bridge to help children understand and enjoy classical music. Through research and interviews with elders, Feierabend gathered songs and rhymes that parents and grandparents had sung to their offspring for generations. The resulting "First Steps in Music" curricular materials have influenced music educators worldwide.
In addition to serving as the lead scriptwriter for the Van Cliburn Foundation's "Musical Awakenings" program of classical concerts for children, Feierabend promotes music education through frequent presentations in the United States and abroad. He is also the author of more than 60 books, recordings, and DVDs, many of which served as the inspiration for the PBS children's television series "Lomax: The Hound of Music."