In remembrance of Elliot Eisner

My mentor and friend Elliot Eisner has passed away. I received a call from his wife today and she asked that I let others know. Many will be sharing their experiences, and there is talk of a memorial at Stanford in a few months. For today, here are some of the memories with which I celebrate his place in my life. [Update: here’s Stanford’s obituary]

Although we spoke regularly by phone, we had not seen the Eisners since March of 2012, when my wife and I planned a three-hour layover during a long flight so that they could meet my son for the first time. Here’s a moment from that special visit that captures Elliot’s indomitable spirit, playfulness, and humanity:



IMG_2456When Elliot retired, he entrusted me with some of his books. Today’s news sent me to my office to look through them. In his heavily worn copy of E.E. Cummings poems, I found a passage he had marked:



I will forever remain grateful to have had Elliot in my life, and to be part of his large family of students. Together, we learned to sing. Here’s a picture of us taken at the 2006 AERA meeting.


Elliot and Matt

About Matthew

Music education: media, technology, and participatory music.
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2 Responses to In remembrance of Elliot Eisner

  1. Peter Webster says:

    I so identify with this wonderful tribute and I am sure more will come.

  2. Betty Anne Younker says:

    Matt- Just heard today -and I know you are taking time to reflect on the impact Elliot Eisner had on your life. His books are a regular reading requirement in classes I teach. Thoughts are with you – Betty Anne

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