Estelle Ruth Jorgensen


Estelle Jorgensen is Professor of Music in the Department of Music Education at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she teaches graduate courses in music education, has served as chair of that program, and is presently editor of the Philosophy of Music Education Review. Prior to going to IU, Jorgensen taught music in grade schools in Canada and at McGill University in Montreal, where she was a Professor of Music and chair of the School Music Department.

Hailed as one of the most respected leaders in and writers about all aspects of music education, Jorgensen has authored four thoughtful and acclaimed books on the subject and is a frequent contributor to leading research journals in music education internationally. Additionally, she is the founding chair of the Philosophy Special Research Interest Group (SRIG) of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and the founding co-chair of the International Society for the Philosophy of Music Education.

Jorgensen has led or contributed to eight international symposia in the philosophy of music in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Finland since 1990. In addition to presentations in these countries, she has also lectured in Sweden, Japan, and Australia.

Her first book, In Search of Music Education (1997) was described as "provocative and stimulating . . . [a] work that secures Jorgensenís position in the elite league of the few who truly challenge problems facing music education." Her second book, Transforming Music Education (2003) was praised as "Brilliant . . . It is a must -read, for it awakens thoughts about why we teach and how."1

The Art of Teaching Music (2008) encourages music educators to examine what they do and why they do it and also discusses the realities of teaching music. At the time of the release of Pictures of Music Education in 2011, Jorgensen observed:

As soon as I made an end of this one, so many compelling questions emerged that I must make a beginning on another! I became convinced that music education cannot continue its business as usual, but that music teachers, students, and those interested in their work need to envisage the task differently in the future.2

Jorgensen was born and raised in Australia, the daughter of Alfred S. Jorgensen, a pastor and lecturer at Avondale College. She completed a B.A. with honors at Newcastle University in 1966 and a Diploma of Education from Newcastle Teachers' College in 1967.

She graduated from Andrews University with an M.Mus. in piano and music education in 1970 and completed a Ph.D. in education administration at the University of Calgary, Canada, in 1976. In recognition of her contributions to music education, she was named a Fellow in the Philosophy of Music Education Society and awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Andrews University in 1995.

1 quotations are from reviews by Patricia Shehan Campbell, University of Washington, author of Lessons from the World: A Cross-Cultural Guide to Music Teaching and Learning. 2 From a release by the IU School of Music, 16 November 2011.


Sources: Biography at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University (2012); Online reviews and observations about her books; IU Jacobs School of Music publicity release for Pictures of Music Education, 11 November 2011. Australasian Record: 23 November 1970, 16; 14 March 1977, 10; 9 September 1995, 12.