Steven J. Morrison (86), a Bienen School of Music alumnus and current faculty member at the University of Washington, has been named Professor of Music Education in the Bienen School, effective September 1, 2019.

Morrison is currently professor and chair of music education at the University of Washington, where he teaches courses in music education, music psychology, and research methods and conducts the UW Symphonic Band. He is also director of the Laboratory for Music Cognition, Culture and Learning, investigating neurological responses to music listening, perceptual and performance aspects of pitch-matching and intonation, and use of expressive gesture and modeling in ensemble teaching. His research also includes music preference and the variability of musical responses across diverse cultural contexts.

Prior to joining the UW faculty, Morrison served as lecturer of fine arts at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He has spoken and presented research throughout the United States, as well as in Australia, China, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. During 2009 he served as a visiting fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and as a visiting scholar in the Center for Music and Science at the University of Cambridge. An instrumental music specialist, Morrison has taught at the elementary, junior high, and senior high levels in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Louisiana and has conducted and arranged for bands, orchestras, and chamber groups throughout the United States.

Morrison’s articles have appeared in Music Educators Journal, Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Music Perception, Frontiers in Psychology, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education, Southwestern Musician, and Southern Folklore. Along with collaborator Steven M. Demorest, his research into music and brain function has appeared in Neuroimage, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Progress in Brain Research and The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Morrison is also a contributing author to The Science and Psychology of Music Performance, published by Oxford University Press, the new Oxford Handbook of Music Education and Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience, the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain, and the text Musician and Teacher: An Orientation to Music Education, authored by Patricia Shehan Campbell and published by W.W. Norton.

Morrison is editor of the Journal of Research in Music Education for which he also served on the editorial board. He is also on the editorial boards of Reviews of Research in Human Learning and Music and the Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education. He has served on the executive board of the Society for Research in Music Education and is currently a member of the advisory board for the Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research. He is past University Curriculum Chair for the Washington Music Educators Association and an honorary member of the Gamma chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi.

Morrison holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern, a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.


  • music education