PhD, Indiana University

Jennifer Blackwell is a Canadian music educator, music researcher, and saxophonist, currently serving as assistant professor of music education at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. Dr. Blackwell was previously assistant professor of instrumental music education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she received the 2022 Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching. Her research interests include applied music teaching expertise (from behavioral, cognitive, social, cultural, and affective perspectives), music performance expertise, popular music pedagogy, applications of authentic context learning paradigms, feedback in music contexts, and music teacher training.

Dr. Blackwell’s research has been featured in the Journal of Research in Music Education; Psychology of Music; Journal of Music Teacher Education; Frontiers in Psychology; Journal of Research in Music Performance; International Journal of Music Education; Research Studies in Music Education; The Saxophone Symposium; Gender, Education, Music and Society; The Music Educators Journal; Canadian Music Educator; and the Oxford Handbook of Music Performance. She is a frequent presenter at research and practitioner conferences both nationally and internationally, having presented her work throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Dr. Blackwell also served as the editor of the North American Saxophone Alliance’s scholarly publication, The Saxophone Symposium from 2014-2022, and served on the executive board for the Hawaiʻi Music Educators Association from 2018-2022.

Dr. Blackwell has worked extensively as a woodwind studio teacher and ensemble director in both Canada and the United States, working with students aged 10-85 in a variety of settings including middle school, high school, community ensembles, and universities. She is an active woodwind clinician in both Canada and the United States and continues to perform as a classical saxophonist. Since 2021, she has worked with the Australian Music Examinations Board to develop syllabi and resources for certificate programs in studio music teaching for use in both Australia and Vietnam. Her edited book, Teaching Music Performance: A Guide for Evidence-Based Pedagogy, will be released by the AMEB in 2024.

Dr. Blackwell holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Western Ontario, master’s degrees in music education and saxophone performance from Central Michigan University, and a PhD in music education with a minor in saxophone performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Selected Works/Publications


Blackwell, J., Matherne, N., & McPherson, G. (2022). A PRISMA review of research on feedback in music education and music psychology. Psychology of Music.

Blackwell, J., Matherne, N., & Momohara-Ho, C. (2022). Student perceptions of teaching and learning popular music. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 31(2), 49-65.

Blackwell, J. (2022). “Mistakes are just information”: A case study of a highly successful violin pedagogue. International Journal of Music Education, 40(1), 78-89.

Blackwell, J., Miksza, P., Evans, P., & McPherson, G. E. (2020). Student vitality, teacher engagement, and rapport in studio music instruction. Frontiers in Psychology: Performance Science, 11(1007).

Blackwell, J. (2020). Expertise in applied studio teaching: Teachers working with multiple levels of learners. International Journal of Music Education, 38(2), 283-298.

Blackwell, J. (2018). Music program alumni’s perceptions of professional skills, abilities, and job satisfaction: A secondary analysis of the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) survey. Journal of Research in Music Education, 66(2), 190-209.

Blackwell, J., & Roseth, N. (2018). The use of Problem-Based Learning in a woodwind methods course: An action research study. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 28(1), 55-69.


Blackwell, J., & McPherson, G. E. (2022). Readiness for learning to perform music. In G. McPherson (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Performance, Volume 1 (pp. 56-83). Oxford University Press.

McPherson, G. E., Blackwell, J., & Hallam, S. (2022). Musical potential, giftedness, and talent development. In G. E. McPherson (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Performance, Volume 1 (pp. 31-55). Oxford University Press.