Robert Woody

Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Music, Professor of Music Education, Education, Co-Area Head, Undergraduate
Area of Focus: Music Education

Dr. Robert H. Woody is the Steinhart Foundation Distinguished Professor of Music (Music Education) in the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He earned a bachelor of music degree from UNL and two master's degrees (music education and educational research) and a Ph.D. in music education from Florida State University. Additionally, he holds certificates in computers in music and Orff Schulwerk (Levels I and II).

Dr. Woody taught classroom general music as a full-time teacher in the public schools of Florida and has worked with children of all ages in additional instructional capacities. Currently at UNL, he teaches the undergraduate courses MUED 244 Music Learning and Development and MUED 344 General Music Methods, and the graduate courses MUED 836 Psychology and Sociology of Music and MUSC 839 Music in the Lives of People. He also teaches MUSC 189H Psychology of Music Seminar to freshman in the UNL Honors Program. Dr. Woody's work in the classroom was recognized with the 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award for the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Dr. Woody's research deals primarily with the psychology of music. He is an author of the book, Psychology for Musicians: Understanding and Acquiring the Skills, with Andreas C. Lehmann and John A. Sloboda (Oxford University Press). He is specifically interested in the cognitive mechanisms of expressive performance and the skill-based factors that contribute to participatory music involvement among people. He has published articles in research journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, Psychomusicology, and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education; other writings have appeared in the Music Educators Journal, General Music Today, and American Music Teacher. He is also a frequent presenter at conferences, including the Biennial Convention of MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, and the World Conference of the International Society for Music Education. He recently completed a term of office  on the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Music Education.

Dr. Woody regularly posts  to his blog Live... In Concert on the Psychology Today website.  

What do you enjoy the most about being on the faculty at the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Woody: The best part of working in the GKSOM is our students. The students bring a positive energy to their music studies and as the faculty, we just have to accept it and employ it in what we do in our teaching. I find many of the music education students specifically to be inspirational. They are highly motivated young professionals with a committed interest in understanding the processes of teaching and learning so they can most effectively share the power of music with kids.

What do you want others to know about the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Woody: Our faculty and staff are “the best in the business.” The GKSOM offers the best of both worlds; We are big, so we offer all the resources of a Big Ten University and our many faculty and staff members present a diversity of perspective and breadth of expertise. But we are also small, in that we all find close-knit communities within the GKSOM with plenty of small group and one-on-one interactions, allowing us to find collaborators, mentors, and friends, oftentimes for life.

What are you most proud of in the area you work for the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Woody: Again, the music education students we’ve worked with are now some of the best music education professionals out there. In the Music Education area, one of our unofficial mottos is “Empowering others to lead musical lives.” We are very proud to see so many of our former music educations students now in the world doing just that.

What do you like to do outside of the Glenn Korff School of Music?

Woody: In my leisure time I do a variety of things, some musical and some not. I like taking in live music with my family and making music in informal participatory settings. I also enjoy being outside in sunny weather, keeping active in any way possible (including walking my dog). I also enjoy reading and streaming TV shows and movies at home.