When I started my career as a Music History Professor about four decades ago, I was still using a typewriter. Much has changed in the intervening years. Indeed, this was brought home to me when I returned to the classroom to teach after nine years as the Dean of Fine Arts and Communications. As I struggled to engage students in a stimulating discussion of the structural nuances of a Beethoven symphony (excuse me? Beethoven? the students' musical heroes were Tupac and Nine Inch Nails) I realized that the traditional ways of teaching weren’t working anymore. Too young to retire, I started questioning - and ultimately transforming - the way I taught. My efforts paid off. Not only did teaching become a joy again, but soon I was one of the most popular professors on campus.
This drew attention. I was named California's Higher Education Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, formally recognized by the California state legislature for my contributions to undergraduate education, and selected as a Pew/Carnegie scholar in the discipline of music. These and other honors inspired me to want to help my colleagues around the country improve teaching and learning in their classrooms. The College Teaching Techniques series, three music history digital textbooks, and Faculty2Faculty - The Alliance for Research Based Teaching and Learning are the results of my efforts. Welcome to this website, which chronicles my rewarding work as an educator, author, and musician.