Justin West headshot

Assistant Professor of Music and Human Learning

Justin J. West teaches courses on musical development, research methods, sociology of music education, and law and policy in arts education. Before coming to the University of Texas, Dr. West was Assistant Professor of Music Education at Louisiana State University, where he taught choral music education, research methods, and music education foundations.

Dr. West's scholarship focuses primarily on music teacher professional development, but he has written on other topics such as teacher self-efficacy, arts education policy, teacher social capital, and building middle and high school choir programs. His articles are published in a variety of academic journals, including the Journal of Research in Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review, Journal of Music Teacher Education, General Music Today, and Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing and is a frequent presenter at music education conferences across the U.S. He is also co-facilitator of the Professional Development for Music Teachers ASPA, a working group within the Society for Music Teacher Education, and co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of the International Journal for Research in Education titled "Global Perspectives on Teacher Professional Development: Navigating the Pandemic." For his scholarly work, he was recognized at LSU with a 2021 Rising Faculty Research Award.

Dr. West earned a Ph.D. in music education, with cognates in educational research and administration, from the University of North Texas; an M.A. in music and music education from Columbia University; and a B.M. in choral music education, magna cum laude, from Lamar University. A native Texan, he previously taught choir, AP music theory, and piano in the Houston area and holds active Texas teacher and principal certifications.


MUS 354C
Musical Development of Children

MUS 393
Qualitative Research Methods in Music and Psychology 


West, J. J., Stanley, A. M., Bowers, J. P., & Isbell, D. S. (in press). Attrition, (de)motivation, and "effective" music teacher professional development: An instrumental case study. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education.

West, J. J., & Bautista, A. (2021) Greater than the sum of its parts: Promoting systemness in music and arts teacher professional development. Arts Education Policy Review, 122(1), 54–64.

West, J. J. (2020). Is music teacher professional development becoming more effective? Evaluating practice and policy in the U.S., 1993–2012. Journal of Research in Music Education. 

West, J. J. (2020). Understanding the process of proximate change following music teachers’ participation in large-scale conferences: A grounded theory. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 225, 67–94. 

West, J. J. (2019). From the conference to the classroom: Elevating short-term professional development for lifelong learning. General Music Today, 31(1), 24–28.

West, J. J., & Frey-Clark, M. L. (2019). Traditional versus alternative pathways to certification: Assessing differences in music teacher self-efficacy. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 28(2), 98–111.

West, J. J. (2019). Social capital and music teacher professional development: Principle, policy, and practice. Arts Education Policy Review, 120(1), 33–44.

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Contact Information

Campus location
MRH 2.204B

Teaching Areas

Music & Human Learning

Research Areas

Music Teacher Learning and Professional Development 

Arts Education Policy 

Music Program Building


Doctor of Philosophy
University of North Texas

Master of Arts
Columbia University 

Bachelor of Music
Lamar University