Emeriti Faculty

Below is a list of our distinguished emeriti faculty.

Paul Aliapoulios

Music Education and Choral Music; Former Associate Dean

Born on December 6, 1935, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Paul Aliapoulios began his musical career as a clarinetist, saxophonist, conductor, and vocalist. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1957. After stints as a public-school music teacher and army officer, he began graduate study at Boston University, where he taught woodwind classes, conducted the Varsity Band, and supervised student teachers. He completed a master of music in 1961 and a doctor of musical arts in 1970.

Aliapoulios was choral director at Weymouth High School from 1962 to 1966. From 1966 to 1972 he served on the faculty at East Carolina University, rising to associate professor and assistant dean in 1970. After chairing the music department at Miami University from 1972 to 1976, he joined the Northwestern conducting and music education faculty in 1976. At the School of Music he held a variety of administrative positions: associate dean of undergraduate studies (1976-84), associate dean of academic affairs (1984-94), acting dean (1989-90), acting chair of voice and opera (1991-94), co-chair of performance studies (1994-96), and chair of academic studies and composition (1997-2001). For his last seven years on the faculty, Aliapoulios carried a full teaching load as professor of music education. In 2000 the Northwestern Alumni Association honored him with its Excellence in Teaching Award.

Conductor of nearly 20 choral groups across the United States, Aliapoulios founded and led the Weymouth Civic Chorus and the Greenville (North Carolina) Community Chorus. He also conducted the Braintree (Massachusetts) Choral Society, the Frederick Smyth Chorale, and the Music Center of the North Shore Summer Chorale as well as the East Carolina Chamber Singers and the A Cappella Singers of Miami University. At Northwestern he served at various times as conductor of the University Chorus, University Singers, Women's Chorus, and Chorale. From 1984 to 2001 he was also music director of Kenilworth Union Church.

While on the faculty, Aliapoulios performed often as a baritone soloist and played saxophone in the Old Man's Jazz Band. He also served as an adjudicator and clinician for choral and instrumental ensembles throughout the United States. His wife, Janet, taught in the Winnetka Public Schools; they have three sons (all of whom earned degrees from Northwestern) and six grandchildren.

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Thomas Bauman


Thomas Bauman, professor of musicology, joined the Bienen School of Music faculty in 1995, having previously taught at the University of Washington, Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Berkeley.

A specialist in opera, film music, African-American studies, and Mozart, Bauman is a recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, an American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid, a Pew Foundation Grant, and an Andrew Mellon Faculty Fellowship at Harvard University.

He is the author of North German Opera in the Age of Goethe (Cambridge University Press, 1985), W. A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Cambridge University Press, 1987), and The Pekin: The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black-Owner Theater (University of Illinois Press, 2014). He has contributed to The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera (Oxford University Press, 1993), and the New Grove Dictionary of Opera (Macmillan, 1992).

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John Buccheri

Music Theory

John Buccheri came to Northwestern in 1967 from the University of South Dakota. He earned his bachelor of music degree at Tufts University and an MA and PhD in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. During Buccheri's years at Northwestern, his work centered on music theory pedagogy, score analysis, and issues of rhythm analysis and meter. He served as a committee member for more than 50 doctoral and master's projects and team-taught several special courses with members of the music performance faculty. In recent years Buccheri's interest in comprehensive musicianship has focused on teaching improvisation to music students who lack an improvisation background. His popular undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory are legendary for their blend of practical application and scholarly understanding.

Buccheri presented over 100 papers and keynote addresses during his 37 years of college teaching and published in such journals as the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and the College Music Society Newsletter. He also developed innovative music software and is currently leading an effort to make college music archives available through digital audio serving technology.

The recipient of numerous awards, including the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Music Theory Teaching and Scholarship, the Northwestern Alumni Association Award for Teaching Excellence, and Northwestern's prestigious Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence, Buccheri served as the president of the College Music Society from 2001 to 2003 and remains very active with that organization.

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Bernard J. Dobroski

Music Education, Former Dean

Bernard J. Dobroski received a bachelor of fine arts degree in music performance from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s in music performance and music history from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. From 1968 to 1972, he performed as a tubist and keyboardist with the U.S. Navy Band, as a soloist with the U.S. Navy Concert Band, as a conductor and performer with the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band, and as a leader of the U.S. Navy Brass Quintet. He was an instructor and director of the Preparatory Wind Ensemble of the Washington Youth Orchestra from 1969 to 1972.

In 1981, Dobroski received a PhD from the Northwestern University School of Music. He held various faculty and administrative positions at the school from 1974 to 1985, including assistant dean, director of undergraduate studies, and associate dean for administration. In 1986, he became dean of the University of Oregon School of Music and Department of Dance -- a position he held until 1990, when he returned to Northwestern to assume the deanship of the School of Music.

As the school’s sixth dean, Dobroski focused on faculty and student recruitment, expansion of course offerings for nonmajors, and community engagement programs. During his tenure, the school established new academic majors in music technology and music cognition; Philharmonia, an orchestra for non-music majors; and a joint degree program with the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. The Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival debuted in 1996, and the first-annual Winter Chamber Music Festival took place in 1997. Notable events as dean included a weeklong celebration of John Cage’s 80th birthday in 1992, which featured the composer in attendance; and a yearlong celebration of the School of Music’s centennial beginning in fall 1995.

In 2003, Dobroski stepped down after 13 years of service as dean and assumed the John Evans Professorship in Music. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the Bienen School of Music and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Dobroski has served on the boards of a number of regional and national organizations, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago Ryan Opera Center, Savannah Voice Festival, Sherrill Milnes VOICExperience Institute, and the Chicago-based Bel Canto Foundation.

Dobroski retired at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year and was named professor emeritus.

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Robert Gjerdingen

Music Theory

Robert Gjerdingen joined the Bienen School of Music faculty in 1995. He is the author of several books, articles, and reviews in the fields of music theory, music perception, and 18th-century musical style. He served on the editorial boards of Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society; on the executive board of the Society for Music Theory; and as editor of Music Perception. In 2009 his book Music in the Galant Style received the Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory. His research on the teaching methods of 18th-century conservatories in Italy garnered six years of support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts, an MA from the University of Hawaii, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Northwestern, Gjerdingen taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Carleton College, and the U.S. Military Band School. He was also vice president for Music Taxonomy at MoodLogic, Inc., an online music company in Silicon Valley, at the peak of the Internet revolution.

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Robert A. Harris

Conducting and Ensembles; Director, Choral Organizations

Robert A. Harris served as Director of Choral Organizations and Professor of Conducting at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music from 1977 to 2012. Prior to Northwestern, Dr. Harris taught at Michigan State University, where he served as Director of Choral Activities from 1970 to 1977, and at Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) from 1964-1970. He also has held visiting professorships at Wayne State University, the University of Texas (Austin) and the University of South Africa in Pretoria.

Dr. Harris is active as a conductor, choir clinician, and adjudicator, having appeared in these capacities throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Harris served as Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus for the 2016-17 season. In June 2016, he served as guest conductor of the Carolina Coast Festival Chorus and Orchestra’s Spring Festival. Performances of the Faure “Requiem” and Sacred Music of 20th and 21st century American composers were held in New Bern and Jacksonville, North Carolina. In November 2016, Dr. Harris served as guest conductor with the Wayne State University Choral Union and Symphony Orchestra (Detroit, Michigan) in a performance of the Brahams “Ein deutches Requiem.”

Internationally, Dr. Harris served as one of two guest conductors and clinicians for the Taipei Philharmonic Choral and Conducting Workshop in the Republic of China. He also served as guest conductor for Korea's premier professional choir, the Inchon City Chorale, guest conductor of a Choral Festival Youth Chorale in Hong Kong, and presented lectures and conducting master classes throughout South Africa on two separate occasions. In Argentina, Dr. Harris presented lectures and master classes on African American spirituals. In March 2013, he presented master classes on spirituals for the American Cantat VII Music Festival.

Awards and honors for Harris include an Alumni Arts Achievement Award in Music from Wayne State University and the 2000-2001 Northwestern University School of Music's Faculty Exemplar Teaching Award. Harris was one of three University professors to receive a Northwestern University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2001-2002 academic year. Harris served for three years as a member of the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts and twice functioned as the Panel's co-chair. Biographical entries include Who's Who Among Black Americans, Men of Achievement (London), and Who's Who in America. A video Oral History interview of Harris has been made a permanent part of the History Makers Collections at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Dr. Harris received his education from Wayne State University in Detroit, the Eastman School of Music, and earned his doctorate from Michigan State University in composition and theory. He has been active as a church music director throughout his career, currently serving Winnetka (IL) Congregational Church as Director of Music and Choirmaster. He is a life member of the American Choral Directors Association and an active member of Chorus America.

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Maud Hickey

Music Education

Maud Hickey (G95), associate professor of music education, retired at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year after 22 years of service. She joined the Bienen School faculty as assistant professor in 1997 and was promoted to associate professor in 2003. Before coming to Northwestern, she taught at Ithaca College.

Hickey’s research interest lies in the teaching and assessment of musical creativity as manifest through improvisation and composition. She has connected this research interest to work with detained youth and received more than a quarter of a million dollars in grants from the Chicago Community Trust to teach music in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Hickey led the Arts and Music Programs for Education in Detention Centers (AMPED) program at Northwestern University's Center for Civic Engagement. The program connects Northwestern students to incarcerated youth for music composition projects and mentoring.  

Hickey has lectured on creative thinking in music around the United States and internationally. Her book Music Outside the Lines: Ideas for Composing Music in K-12 Classrooms was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. She has served on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education journal and was also appointed a member of the inaugural cohort of faculty fellows in Northwestern's Center for Civic Engagement. Hickey received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, and PhD from Northwestern.

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Judith Schwartz Karp


Judith Schwartz, associate professor of musicology, taught at Vassar College before joining the School of Music faculty in 1974. After receiving her undergraduate degree in music theory and harpsichord at Vassar, she earned a master's degree and PhD in musicology from New York University and pursued further studies in musicology at the University of Salzburg and the University of Vienna.

Schwartz is a specialist in music of the baroque and classical eras, with a focus on music and dance of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. Her publication credits include such prestigious journals as the Journal of Musicology and Early Music, and she has authored numerous articles for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. An active member of the American Musicological Society and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Schwartz has presented lectures, papers, and dance demonstrations locally and nationally for over 25 years.

Her distinguished teaching career at Northwestern included both undergraduate and graduate courses in baroque and classical music. Among her most popular classes were offerings on Beethoven, the classic concerto, classical and romantic chamber music, Mozart opera, Haydn symphonies, and classical sacred music. A significant contributor to doctoral-level education, she served as reader on over 40 doctor of music dissertation committees. Schwartz was also instrumental in the success of Northwestern's annual Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival.

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Myron Kartman

Violin, Chamber Music

Dr. Kartman, holds degrees from The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Boston University, and the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik in Cologne, Germany. He has been a faculty member at Antioch College, University of Alabama, Northwestern University (24 years), and University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany from 1957-59. In addition to his role in university teaching, Dr. Kartman has performed extensively on the stage in both solo and ensemble engagements throughout the world.

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James Kjelland

String Pedagogy

Born in Brodhead, Wisconsin, Kjelland received his bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. After teaching instrumental music in Middleton, Wisconsin, he joined the University of Southern California faculty in 1977 as associate professor of music education and director of string development. In 1984 he became director of orchestras and coordinator of strings at California's Colburn School of Performing Arts. He moved to the University of North Texas as associate professor of music education in 1991 and came to Northwestern three years later.

Kjelland has served as a guest conductor at all-state and regional honors orchestras across the United States and as a summer string workshop instructor at such schools as the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. Over the past 35 years he has garnered national acclaim for his in-service clinics and workshops in string pedagogy and orchestra development.

A past editorial board member for the Council for Research in Music Education and the American String Teachers Association, Kjelland has published more than 25 articles in journals such as American String Teacher, the Instrumentalist, and Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. He wrote the textbook Orchestral Bowing: Style and Function (Alfred Publishing) and coauthored many other books, including Strictly Strings, a Comprehensive String Class Method (Alfred), Teaching Stringed Instruments: A Course of Study (R&L Education), and the three-volume Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra (GIA Publications).

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Walfrid Kujala


Walfrid Kujala, a native of Warren, Ohio, began playing flute at age 13 when his father, a bassoonist, suggested choosing an instrument that didn't require making reeds. By high school he was already playing second flute with the Huntington Symphony and studying with its principal flutist, Parker Taylor. At the Eastman School of Music, Kujala received his bachelor of music degree in flute performance in 1948 and a master of music degree in 1950. He immediately joined the Rochester Philharmonic under Erich Leinsdorf and then in 1954 accepted the assistant principal flute position under Fritz Reiner in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he later became principal piccolo. Kujala continued with the CSO for 47 years and was frequently featured as a soloist. One of his most memorable solo performances was the 1988 premiere of Gunther Schuller's Flute Concerto, commissioned by Kujala's students as a birthday present.

Kujala has served as president of the National Flute Association, which presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. He has also received the Bienen School of Music's Exemplar in Teaching Award and has been a consulting editor for several music publications, including Flute Talk.

Kujala is perhaps best known to flute students across the country as the author of the renowned textbook The Flutist’s Progress, which was the impetus for his foray into publishing. Kujala founded Progress Press in 1970 and has continued to publish solo and chamber music as well as studies on flute performance. He recently authored The Articulate Flutist: Rhythms, Groupings, Turns, and Trills.

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Rex Martin


Rex Martin (G83), professor of tuba and euphonium, received his Master of Music degree in 1983 and began teaching at the School of Music in 1988.

Martin has given master classes throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East. As a studio musician, he has performed for 3,000 television and radio commercials and has also played on more than 70 recordings with the Chicago and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras. In 2008, he released a solo CD, Rex Martin Live in Japan. He has performed with several prestigious orchestras and ensembles and with artists such as Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Sarah Vaughan, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Martin has also taught at DePaul University, Illinois State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Notre Dame, and the Oberlin Conservatory. His former teacher, Arnold Jacobs, taught at Northwestern from 1956 until his death in 1998. Between the two of them, Martin and Jacobs taught at Northwestern for a more than 60-year span.

“My greatest honor at Northwestern was the opportunity to work with some of the most extraordinary people I have ever known—my students,” Martin said. “I will miss the stimulating conversations, the breathtaking performances and the exceptional humor of these gifted young musicians.”

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Sherrill Milnes

Voice & Opera

Sherrill Milnes is universally acclaimed as the foremost operatic baritone of his generation. He sang over 650 performances at the Met, where he was honored with sixteen new productions, seven opening nights, and ten national telecasts. As a leading artist in all of the world’s great opera houses, Mr. Milnes performed and recorded with the likes of Domingo, Pavarotti, Caballé, Sutherland, Sills, Horne, Price, and Tebaldi. He is the winner of three Grammy Awards, and is the most recorded American singer of his time. In 2008 he received the Opera News Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Milnes has received numerous honors during his distinguished career, including seven honorary doctoral degrees. He is particularly proud of being named as a Commendatore of the Italian Republic for his long commitment to Italian opera. In 1987 he received New York City’s Seal of Recognition for his rich contribution to the city’s cultural life. He was also chosen by the American Bible Society to receive the 25 millionth copy of its Good News Bible, and in 1993 he organized a benefit concert in Vienna’s famed St. Stephen’s Cathedral for the victims of the Bosnia-Herzegovina War. In September 1996, Mr. Milnes was honored by the French government with the distinguished Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2003 he became a member of the Lincoln Academy, the highest honor awarded by the state of Illinois.

Milnes has worked extensively with young singers throughout his career. He has led masterclasses at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York City, for the Met Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, at major universities and music schools throughout the country, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Mr. Milnes has served as faculty at the Yale School of Music and at Northwestern University, where he is the John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus. Additional teaching engagements have brought him to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Shanghai Conservatory in China, Northern Royal College of Music in Manchester, Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. He has served as a judge for several international competitions including the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and for the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, of which he is a founding board member.

Driven by his dedication to make the vocal arts vibrant, vital, and entertaining in today’s world, Mr. Milnes continues to give masterclasses, judge competitions, and mentor new generations of singers. With his wife, Maria Zouves, he co-founded and runs the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs: VOICExperience Foundation and the Savannah VOICE Festival provide training for aspiring young artists while fostering new audiences for the arts.

Milnes has worked extensively with young singers throughout his career. He has led masterclasses at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York City, for the Met Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, at major universities and music schools throughout the country, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Mr. Milnes has served as faculty at the Yale School of Music and at Northwestern University, where he is the John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus. Additional teaching engagements have brought him to the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Shanghai Conservatory in China, Northern Royal College of Music in Manchester, Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. He has served as a judge for several international competitions including the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and for the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, of which he is a founding board member.

Driven by his dedication to make the vocal arts vibrant, vital, and entertaining in today’s world, Mr. Milnes continues to give masterclasses, judge competitions, and mentor new generations of singers. With his wife, Maria Zouves, he co-founded and runs the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs: VOICExperience Foundation and the Savannah VOICE Festival provide training for aspiring young artists while fostering new audiences for the arts.

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Frederick Ockwell


Longtime faculty member Frederick Ockwell served as associate professor of opera, conducting, and ensembles. Since joining the Bienen School of Music faculty in 1971, Ockwell was closely involved with the opera program, conducting many productions in addition to assisting in musical preparation and other rehearsals. He was formerly a member of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Cologne Opera Studio and the Hamburg State Opera. For nine seasons he was music director of the Fox River Valley Symphony in Aurora, Illinois. A native of Seattle, he studied piano, double bass, and conducting with Stanley Chapple, Frederik Prausnitz, Wolfgang von der Nahmer, and Marek Janowski. Ockwell received a master of arts degree from the University of Washington and was a Fulbright scholar in conducting in Cologne, Germany.

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Don D. Owens

Director of Jazz Studies, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Marching Band, Concert Bands, NSHMI

Don Owens began his tenure at Northwestern in 1979 after 12 years as a music teacher at Evanston Township High School. During his 26 years at the School of Music, he served in a variety of capacities. In addition to teaching and conducting the Jazz Ensemble, he was director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble from 1983 to 2003, leading the group in more than 100 world premieres. He added the responsibilities of directing the National High School Music Institute in 1991, holding that position for 13 years. Through his leadership Northwestern now offers a bachelor of music in jazz studies and a master of music in jazz pedagogy.

The multifaceted Owens has shared in making music with noted figures from both the jazz and contemporary idioms. His compositions have been performed throughout America as well as in Canada, England, Greece, Germany, Japan, Norway, and South America. An internationally recognized clinician, conductor, and adjudicator, he has served in these capacities for concert and jazz bands at festivals and all-state events in 23 states, Canada, Greece, Germany, and Norway. He has received several grants and awards as well as yearly commissions for new works.

Owens earned a bachelor of music education degree from North Texas State University, where he also studied composition and jazz, and a master of musical arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied composition. He is past president of the Illinois unit of the International Association of Jazz Educators and of the Alpha chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda.

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Stephen Syverud

Composition, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Electronic Music

Ph.D: University of Iowa. MA/BA: San Francisco State University. Director: Established the Electronic Music Studios at Northwestern University. Composer-in-Residence: Grinnell College, Jackson State University, University of Wisconsin (Parkside). Compositions published: Seesaw Music, Moro Music, American Composers Alliance. Recordings: Brewster Records. Founding member: Chicago Society of Composers. Member: Society of Composers Inc., Broadcast Music Inc., American Music Center, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, International Computer Music Association. Performer: Chaos, Noyes Players, backGammon. Compositions performed: SCI, SEAMUS Conferences; Universities of Alabama, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin (Eau Claire), Wisconsin (Parkside); Bowling Green State University; Memphis State University; Southern Illinois University; Ball State University; Western Illinois University; Radford University; DePaul University; San Francsico State University; Governor State University; Northwestern University; California State University (LA); Roosevelt University; Ithaca College; Grinnell College; Whitman College; Jackson State College; International Festival of the Fantastic in the Arts at Miami; California Institute of the Arts; Tampa Bay Composers' Forum; University of Athens (Greece); Franz Liszt Academy (Budapest) Visiting professor: Franz Liszt Academy, as recipient of J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board grant. Listed in Who's Who in Music and Musicians' International Directory.

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Peter R. Webster

Music Education, Music Technology

Peter R. Webster is currently Scholar-in-Residence at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and is a Professor Emeritus of Music Education at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He holds degrees in music education from the University of Southern Maine (BS) and the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester (MM, PhD). He has taught in the public schools of Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. Following 14 years of teaching at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he moved to Northwestern in 1988 and was there for 25 years prior to his retirement in 2012 from that school. His current position at USC includes half-time teaching in the Department of Music Teaching and Learning and assists the School as a Vice Dean for the Division of Scholarly and Professional Studies. He offers online courses for the graduate programs at the University of Florida at Gainesville. He assists with the music education doctoral program at Boston University.

Webster was the 2014 recipient of the Senior Researcher Award from the Society of Research in Music Education of the National Association for Music Education. He is co-author of Experiencing Music Technology, 3rd edition Updated (Cengage, 2008), a standard textbook used in introductory college courses in music technology. He is the author of Measures of Creative Thinking in Music, an exploratory tool for assessing music thinking using quasi-improvisational tasks. It is distributed for free from his website. A retrospective of his work, together with comment from scholars in the field of music education, is also distributed for free in iBook format from Apple’s iBook Store under the title Coming About and can also be found as a PDF download from his website. He has presented at many state, national, and international meetings and is a frequent keynote speaker. His published work includes over 90 articles, bools, and book chapters on creative thinking in music, music technology, and music teaching and learning. He is an editorial board member for several prestigious journals and has severed as an editor for several projects, including the MENC Handbook of Research on Music Learning (2012) and The Musical Experience: Rethinking Music Teaching and Learning (2014), both published by Oxford University Press. He is a music editor for the International Journal of Education and the Art and the College Music Society Symposium: Instructional Technologies And Methodologies.

Webster has held various administrative positions in his career, including a term as Associate Dean at the Bienen School. He served as Chair of the Department of Music Studies which included the programs of music education, musicology/ethnomusicology, music theory/cognition, and composition/technology. He has taught courses in the philosophy of music education, graduate research, music technology, measurement and assessment, and creative thinking in music. He has supervised many doctoral dissertations in music education and has been the recipient of many grants, including a landmark award from the National Association of Music Merchants to study the influence of music experiences on adult creativity in non-music fields.

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