The College of Arts and Architecture

Linda Thornton

Linda Thornton
Music Education

Linda Thornton is an associate professor. She contributes to the musical education of students and teachers through teaching, publications, workshops, clinics, and conducting. Her interests include pedagogy for beginning instrumentalists, composition and improvisation for instrumental students, music teacher recruitment and socialization, and reflective practice.  At Penn State, Thornton teaches instrumental methods courses with a focus on elementary and middle school, freshman seminar, reflective practice and assessment for current educators, and Psychology of Music and dissertation advising for PhD students. 

She has published articles in journals such as the Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and contributed to several books, such as Musicianship: Composing in Band and Orchestra (GIA) and Alternative Approaches in Music Education: Case Studies from the Field (NAfME).  She has presented workshops and research and conducted ensembles throughout Pennsylvania, nationally and internationally.

Thornton serves as the Eastern Division representative for the Society for Music Teacher Education, research coordinator for the Eastern Division conference of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), North American Review Editor for Research in Music Education, and as a reviewer for the Journal of Teacher Education and Educators.  She has served as an adviser for Music Educators Journal, chair for the Music Teacher Education Special Research Interest Group within NAfME, and as research chair for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) as well as PMEA's strategic planning committee. 

Thornton earned her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Northwestern University, studying saxophone with Fred Hemke, music education with Bennett Reimer, and conducting with John Paynter. Her master's and Ph.D. degrees are from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she studied with Wendy Sims, Martin Bergee, and Dale Lonis.  She taught band in public schools in northern and southern Illinois. Prior to her appointment at Penn State, she held a similar position at the State University of New York, College at Fredonia.