Kevin Bespflug

Research Affiliate



Kevin Bespflug teaches at Southridge School, a K-12 co-ed independent school in Surrey, BC. He teaches grades 5-7 music, and he co-directs and accompanies the PYP (primary) choir, the MYP (intermediate) Glee group, and the Junior School concerts and musicals. He is also the school’s Internal Evaluation Coordinator as they prepare for an upcoming accreditation visit by the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). He is a member of the school’s Professional Development Committee and Social Committee, and co-founder of the Junior School’s Professional Reading Club.

Kevin is a workshop leader and site evaluator for the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme (MYP), as well as a proud research affiliate with MODAL. His teaching and research interests include authentic performing arts experiences for children, intergenerational and integrated performing arts experiences, and community building through the arts. He enjoys playing piano and flute, singing with a local community choir, and sharing his love of music with his students.


Date Degree Program University
2009 PhD Arts Education SFU
2004 Master of Education Arts Education SFU
2000 Bachelor of Education Elementary Education UBC
1998 Bachelor of Arts English Major UCC (now TRU)/UBC
1997 ARCT Piano Teacher’s Diploma Royal Conservatory of Music

Scholarly Contributions

Conference Presentations:
  • Bespflug, K., & O’Neill, S. A. (2013, June). Arts in Action: Community art as catalysts for social change through children’s creative collaborative song writing. Poster presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Bespflug, K. (2012). “Meaningful Music Education for Middle Years Students: The Musical Futures Project in action at Southridge School” at Congrès FAMEQ 2012 (Music Learning: Benefits for the 21st Century Learner), Quebec City, November 2012
  • Bespflug, K. (since July 2011). Ongoing Middle Years Programme workshop leading for the International Baccalaureate Organization

Date: Feb. 7th 2014
Presented at: Independent School Association of BC (ISABC) Pro-D Day
Workshop #1: Meaningful Music Education for Middle Years Students: The Musical Futures Project in action at Southridge School
This workshop will share the process that Southridge School undertook to initiate an innovative initiative from the UK called “Musical Futures” with the grade 7 beginning band classes. In phase one, the students formed friendship groups and worked collaboratively to learn to play a song of their choice by “ear” without the use of notation or direct instruction. The objective was to have the students emulate the real-life practices of many beginning popular musicians. In phase two, the students took part in a group inquiry project that engaged them in thinking about their experience working with their band, and how this learning compared with other ways they learn music. The objective of phase two was to allow students to explore issues such as authenticity, repetition, dedication and future musical opportunities. Participants in this workshop will learn more about this initiative at Southridge, will watch a video clip of the unit in action, will receive copies of student handouts, and will have the chance to ask questions and share related ideas.

Workshop #2: Arts in Action: Community art as catalysts for social change through children’s creative collaborative song writing
This workshop will look at a project at Southridge School in which first-year ukulele players collaborated on ideas inspired by art that was part of the Biennale Public Art Exhibition. These grade six students wrote an original song complete with chords and lyrics that examined the ‘big ideas’ of their chosen piece. Students wrote their songs using any process that worked for them, supported by their teacher, a singer-songwriter mentor, and their peers. Students kept ongoing Arts Developmental Workbooks that documented their process and included reflections on their experience. Participants in this workshop will learn about the project (which could be used with any group of students and any instruments), see an example of a student original composition, and receive copies of student handouts. A discussion on transformative arts engagement for educators will then take place in which participants can share examples of what they are doing in their own classrooms to put the arts into action.