Robert Gillespie

Professor and Area Head
Music Education

Bob Gillespie, professor of music, is responsible for string teacher training at The Ohio State University, which has one of the largest and most extensive string pedagogy degree programs in the nation. Degrees in string teaching at Ohio State include undergraduate, master's, and PhD programs. Currently 30 students are enrolled - one of the largest classes in the country. His graduating students teach in school systems and universities throughout the country.

Gillespie is a past national president of the American String Teachers Association. He is a frequent guest conductor of all-state, regional, and festival orchestras throughout the country and Europe, and he has presented string teacher sessions, workshops, and conducted concerts at national and state music educator conferences in 46 states and Canada. His string education articles appear frequently in all the major music journals. He is co-author of the Hal Leonard string method book series, Essential Elements for Strings and Essential Elements 2000 for Strings, which has sold over seven million copies to date, and Getting Started: Strolling Strings for MENC. He is also co-author of the Oxford University Press book: Strategies for Teaching Strings: Building A Successful School Orchestra Program. He is co-author of the String Clinics to Go DVD series and the Teaching Music Through Performance in Orchestra texts for GIA publications. He received the Distinguished Scholar award given by his faculty colleagues in 2002-2003 in the School of Music at The Ohio State University. Gillespie is an active researcher; his studies focus on string pedagogy, the national status of string programs in America, and curricular development of today's music in teacher education.

In summers, Gillespie directs the Ohio State University String Teacher Workshop in Columbus and the annual out-of-state String Teacher Workshop (most recently in St. Louis, Missouri), the largest string/orchestra teacher training workshops in the country. Gillespie is a string education teaching artist and clinician for the Conn-Selmer Corporation. He is past president of the Ohio String Teachers Association. In Columbus, he conducts the Columbus Symphony Chamber Strings, and is a performing violinist in the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, Gillespie gave string pedagogy and research presentations, and conducted orchestra performances in Texas, Delaware, Utah, Kansas, Maryland, Washington, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio.

NEWS: Ohio State receives ASTA Institutional Leadership Award

Featured Professional Activities

  • Past President, American String Teachers Association
  • Co-Author, Essential Elements for Strings and Essential Elements 2000 for Strings
  • Gillespie, R., Russell, J. A., & Hamann, D. L. (2014). String music educators’ perceptions of the impact of new string programs on student outcomes, school music programs, and communities. Journal of Research in Music Education, 62(2), 175-187.
  • Gillespie, R., & Hamann, D. L. (1999). Career choice among string music education students in American colleges and universities. Journal of Research in Music Education, 47(3), 266-278.
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, The Ohio State University
Areas of Expertise
  • String music education and pedagogy
  • History of music education
  • Improvisation and rock 'n' roll in school music programs

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614 292-2336
308B Hughes Hall
1899 College Rd
Columbus, OH 43210