Author Spotlight: Dr. Stan L. Breckenridge

July 7, 2017

BY: Kendall Hunt

Here are a few notes on a professional who takes a careful look at music and writes a few notes of his own by developing publications like Music Taste or Waste: Critical Listening Skills for Students, Teachers, and Parents (2015), Popular Music in America: Forging the American Spirit (2016) and African American Music: Including Theater, Film, and Dance (2014).


Stan L. Breckenridge is our Kendall Hunt Author Spotlight this month! A Senior Lecturer at California State University, Fullerton, Stan has an accomplished educational background which, in combination with his experiences as a professional musician, “allow him to provide a more holistic view of music’s qualities and its significance to education in general.” With a Ph.D. and M.A. in musicology from Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in music education from California State University, Fullerton, his expertise has allowed him to identify areas of opportunity within the market where his publications on a variety of subjects have taken hold.

Music Taste Waste: Critical Listening Skills for Students, Teachers, and Parents came into fruition after identifying a need for a book to teach individuals of all ages, social statuses, educational backgrounds, and music tastes how to understand the genres of today’s popular music scene with music terminology. Through this publication, Stan encourages readers to use music terminology to explore all genres of music they come across.  Stan has partnered with Kendall Hunt Publishing to develop and disseminate a publication with engaging content and unique features. When asked about his collaborative experience, Stan said, “Kendall Hunt’s editors and support staff over the past 13 years have been a delight to work with. They are attentive to my goals and objectives of the project, while at the same time offer concrete suggestions in order to create the best possible project.”

As Stan was developing the Music Taste or Waste: Critical Listening Skills for Students, Teachers, and Parents publication, he brainstormed with Kendall Hunt staff to develop features unique among the competing titles. These features include:

  • Song Navigators guide the reader through a given song using chapter terms such as instrumentation, form, dynamics and more.
  • Music Analysis is taught for three different, yet in many ways related, age and social status groups – students, teachers, and parents.
  • Playlists that the reader can stream or download to their preferred media.

The following are a series of comments made by students and colleagues regarding success in the classroom with the use of this publication.

“My parents and I visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and they were impressed with my ability to talk about certain music characteristics of the 1950s better than them… and they were teens at the time. They knew I took a world music course but wondered how I could articulate about rock & roll music. I told them the professor also required the book Music Taste or Waste…, which taught me how to critically listen to any style of music.”

“I’ve listened to this song for many years and never realized it had structure until I read this book’s chapter on form.”

“I always thought jazz was hard to understand so I never had a desire to listen to recordings or attend a live performance. While taking your class at the university we were given the opportunity to attend a local jazz club with you, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Learning terms such as instrumentation and improvisation in your book and then seeing and hearing these in a live setting was my first enjoyable experience of jazz. I will be going again, as well as seeking other jazz venues.”

Stan, congratulations on the success of your titles and thank you for choosing to work with Kendall Hunt Publishing! Here’s to more success!