William Channing Woodbridge’s role in music history was as a proponent of music education in the 19th century.
Woodridge made a name for himself as a geographer, specializing in teaching geography to the deaf and dumb. Woodbridge was also a proponent of the arts. While traveling through Europe he saw methods of training musical performers that he considered superior. When he returned home to Harford in the United States, he brought these ideas to the Boston Academy of Music. He found the Pestalozzian teaching methods successful and promoted them to see them more widespread.
The Woodbridge lecture is particularly interesting because it illustrates a more or less fully formulated ‘productivist’ or ‘eclectic’ philosophy of music education. (Woodbridge lecture introduction)
In other words, Woodbridge believed that a variety of musical traditions should be explored in the teaching of music.