Robert Gillespie

Robert Gillespie

Robert Gillespie

Professor, Music Education

Areas of Expertise

  • String music education and pedagogy
  • History of music education
  • Improvisation and rock 'n' roll in school music programs

Robert Gillespie, violinist and professor, is responsible for string teacher training. Ohio State has one of the largest and most extensive string pedagogy degree programs in the nation. Under Gillespie’s leadership, Ohio State received the 2015 ASTA Institutional Leadership Award as the premier string education university in the country.

Gillespie is a past national President of the American String Teachers Association. He is a frequent guest conductor of All-State, region and festival orchestras. Gillespie has appeared in 47 states, Canada, Asia and throughout Europe. He is co-author of the Hal Leonard string method book series, Essential Elements for Strings, the leading string instrument teaching series in the country with sales of over ten million copies. Also, he is co-author of the college text Strategies for Teaching Strings: Building A Successful School Orchestra Program, 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 for 2002–2003 in the School of Music at Ohio State University.

In summers, Gillespie directs the Ohio State String Teacher Workshop, the largest string/orchestra teacher-training workshop in the country. In Columbus, he conducts the Columbus Symphony Chamber Strings Youth Orchestra. He is a performing violinist in the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. During the previous academic year, Gillespie gave string pedagogy and research presentations, and conducted orchestra performances in Ohio, Maine, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Alabama, Missouri, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Florida and Oregon. This year he is again working with students and teachers throughout the United States, including a 9-day teaching residency in Switzerland. In addition, he will be conducting concerts in LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.

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

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