Robert Gardner is a bassist, conductor and composer with experience in a wide variety of musical genres. He has served on the faculty of the Penn State School of Music since 2003, where he is an associate professor of music education, specializing in stringed instrument playing and teaching, orchestral conducting, and alternative styles for string ensembles. Gardner has written chapters and articles in various publications, including Arts Education Policy Review and American String Teacher, and has given presentations at conferences and workshops throughout the country. His research has focused on the nature of improvisation and composition, as well as the supply and demand of American public school music teachers. Several of his pieces and arrangements for string orchestra are available through Alfred Publishers. Robert received his bachelor’s degree in music education from the Ohio State University, and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in music education from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, he served as orchestra director and instructor for public school districts in Ohio and New York. Gardner was also music director for two youth orchestras at the Hochstein School of Music, and has been guest conductor for many honors ensembles. He has designed and directed programs for adult learners and alternative styles for string ensembles. Robert has served as chairperson of the Alternative Styles Task Force for the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and as president of the Pennsylvania Delaware chapter of ASTA (PADESTA).