Research

“Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.”
― Samuel Johnson,

For as long as I can remember, I have always had an inquisitive mind. Whether it be how to play an instrument, or why people behave certain ways, or how the human works, I have always been unafraid to as “why?”

In the early days of my formal music study and teaching experiences, my inquisitive nature was focus around how I could make myself or the students perform more beautifully. Over time, my interests began to move towards “why” some of the strategies I employed worked, while others did not. This curiosity led me to dig deeper into questions of how the mind works, why people behave the way that they do, and how we as teachers can better understand these traits. Teaching and learning, to me, are subjects that have fascinated and at times consumed me for my entire life.

Prior to enrolling at Penn State, I served as the Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Kentucky. During my five-year tenure at Kentucky, we were fortunate enough to experience a significant growth in the size of the Wildcat Marching Band and the operating budget for the UK Bands. In addition, I served as the conductor of the Concert Band and taught classes in conducting, music technology, marching band techniques, and music appreciation. Before teaching at Kentucky, I served as the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at Bands at Texas A&M University-Commerce where I oversaw similar growths that I experienced at Kentucky, more than doubling it in size and earning an invitation to perform at Texas UIL State Championships. I also served as the conductor of the symphonic band and concert band and teaching classes in music technology, music literature, marching band techniques and jazz history while serving as director of summer music camps.

These experiences in music advocacy and leadership led me to pursue a terminal degree after nearly two decades as a music educator both secondary and postsecondary schools. After years of experiencing the joys and challenges of leading and advocating for ensembles under my direction, my interest began to evolve into preparing future educators and further inquiry into music cognition and skill acquisition. Primary research interests include music cognition, musical skill acquisition, teacher training, and music technology.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
― Albert Einstein