The College of Arts and Architecture
  • Yo-Jung Han presents a poster at PMEA Conference.
  • Lindsay Fulcher teaching junior methods course.
  • Greg Drane sharing research at PMEA.

Ph.D. Students


The completion of a Ph.D. is a major undertaking. The route to the degree is individualized and complex. Therefore, any attempt to describe a complete program is, at best, superficial. The attempt here is to provide an overview of the components of the Ph.D. program and the typical sequence for completion.

This document should be considered an unofficial statement of policy. Official policy is stated in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin and the School of Music Graduate Handbook. These later documents supersede this handbook in all instances. Students are ultimately responsible for becoming informed about and fulfilling all program requirements. They are urged to familiarize themselves with all three documents and to confer frequently with their assigned advisor to assure that all expectations of the program are met and that the appropriate sequence is followed.

Program and Admisson Information

In-Residence Students | Non-Resident StudentsRecent Graduates



Picture of Mara Culp.

Mara E. Culp: Candidate. 2014-2015 is in her second year and her research interests include speech acquisition through vocal music experiences for young children, special needs, speech-language, collaboration, elementary general music.

Picture of Greg Drane.

Gregory Drane: Candidate. Completed coursework in 2015. Research interests include historical, African American contributions to music education in America.

Picture of Yo-jung Han.

Yo-jung Han: ABD. Completed coursework in 2015. Research interests include cognitive processes in music learning with multiple representation, arts integrated experiences.

Picture of Anne-Marie Hildebrandt.

Anne-Marie Hildebrandt: Candidate. 2014-2015 is her second year. Research interests include playing by ear, improvisation, participatory music, informal learning, aural skills, and oral traditions.

Picture of Krissie Weimer.

Krissie Weimer: Candidate. 2014-2015 is her second year. University Graduate Fellowship recipient. Research interests include mentoring novice music teachers, professional development, supervision, and leadership.

MacKinlay S. Himes: In his second year his research interests include improvisation and creative learning.


Lindsay Fulcher, ABD, currently serving on the music education faculty at Ball State University. Research interests include technology in music education (especially the strings classroom), string repertoire & pedagogy, female leadership in music education (particularly ASTA).

Yu-Chen Lin, ABD, her research concerns include young children’s spontaneous music making, young children and multiculturalism, and the incorporation of world music into early childhood music curriculum.

Don Schade: ABD, while at Penn State he assisted with methods courses, conducting courses, and choirs while pursing a choral cognated focused on vocal/choral pedagogy.

Theresa Yerger: ABD, her research interests include in-school and out-of-school music experiences available for middle school students, the participation rate of these students within such experiences, and the music preferences of these students within relation to in-school and out-of-school settings.

Recent Graduates:

Jason B. Gossett, (2015), He holds a Bachelors of Music Education and a Masters of Music Education from Murray State University. Jason has been a band director in Kentucky for 10 years where his bands consistently received superior ratings at concert and marching festivals. Jason's research interests include criteria for literature selection in instrumental ensembles, and the pedagogical role of the instrumental ensemble.

Daniel J. Shevock, (2015), Praxes in Confident Music Improvising. He accepted a faculty position at Penn State Altoona.  Dan was a teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools for 11 years prior to returning for his doctoral work and holds an undegraduate degree from Clarion University and a Masters from Towson University.

Lauren Kooistra, (2013), The experiences of two young children in informal piano settings: Expressions of meaning and value. Kooistra is currently serving as Assistant Director for the Penn State Institute of Arts and Humanities. She holds a B.M. in Piano Performance from Gordon College and a M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. 

Nancy Beitler, (2012), The effects of collaborative reflection on the improvisation achievement of seventh and eighth grade instrumental music students. Dr. Beitler has taught at the Southern Lehigh Middle School since the fall of 2000.  Prior to coming to SLMS, she taught instrumental and general music in various schools in the Lehigh Valley area. 

Robert Kenneth Docker, (2012), Job satisfaction of experienced and novice music teachers in high-poverty urban public schools. Docker currently holds a position as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Arkansas. He will begin teaching at the State Univeristy of New York (SUNY) Potsdam Crane School of Music in the Fall of 2015. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Yi-Ting Huang, (2012), Music integration in the elementary school community: An investigation of integration styles and collaborative modes in Pennsylvania and Taiwan. Yi-Ting grew up in Taiwan. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the National Taipei University of Education, and a Master of Arts in Music Education from the Michigan State University.