Janet Robbins is professor emerita of music education at West Virginia University with specialization in general music methods, qualitative research, and world music pedagogy. Before receiving her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, she taught music in the Arts IMPACT program in Columbus, Ohio, where her career-long interest in interdisciplinary teaching and research began. Janet has presented at numerous regional, national, and international venues and published in such journals as Research Studies in Music Education, The Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review, The Quarterly Journal of Teaching and Learning, The Mountain Lake Reader, Journal of Music Teacher Education, and The Orff Echo. Her chapter, “Practitioner Inquiry,” appears in The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education (2014).
Janet has served the American Orff Schulwerk Association in many capacities as co-chair of the 1995 AOSA National Conference celebrating the Carl Orff Centenary, a member of The Orff Echo editorial board, chair the International Outreach Committee supporting Orff Schulwerk professional development around the world, and past chair of the Research Interest Group. For more than twenty years, Janet has been on the summer faculty of the Orff Schulwerk Professional Development Course at the Eastman School of Music, both as a movement teacher and director of the Orff SPIEL teacher-research project (1991-1994). In 2016, she received the AOSA Excellence in Research Award.
Janet’s interest in cross-cultural creativity led to the study of music and dance in Northeast Brazil and intersects with her role as a lead faculty for Music Alive!, a federally funded faculty-student exchange project between WVU and Brazil partner universities in Recife and Rio de Janeiro (2006-2012). Her book chapter, “Crossing Borders: Building Bridges for an International Exchange in Music Teacher Education,” in Alternative Approaches in Music Education (2011) chronicles students’ study-abroad experience. Janet conducted research during two sabbaticals in Brazil (2006 and 2011) where she studied children’s games and traditional rhythms and dance of Northeast Brazil. She coordinates WVU’s weeklong Smithsonian Folkways Certification Course in World Music Pedagogy and recently joined the Fulbright Specialist Roster with plans to continue to expand her understanding of music, culture, and the many creative spaces for making and teaching music from a global perspective.