Edwin E. Gordon
58PhD

Achievement 1992

Edwin E. Gordon, 58PhD, has made music the center of his life as a scholar, lecturer, and author. An internationally recognized researcher, Gordon specializes in the psychology of music. He studies how we learn music, as well as techniques to measure music aptitude.

Through his ground-breaking research and formulation of music learning theory, Gordon has influenced the development of musical talent in thousands of schoolchildren by helping parents and teachers understand how we learn when we learn music. The unique musical aptitude tests he developed are widely used by educators and regarded as the best available.

After beginning his teaching career at the UI, Gordon went on to the State University of New York at Buffalo. He now teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he received the Distinguished Teacher Award in 1987 and the Great Teacher Award in 1989. Gordon's students include the very young—he teaches a course for infants from birth to 18 months—as well as doctoral and postdoctoral scholars.

Professor Gordon and his work have been featured on public radio and television, as well as NBC's "Today Show," and in USA Today and the New York Times. His music learning theory has been cited as one of the five major approaches to music education in the world today.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Gordon plays the string bass as a symphonic and jazz musician. He has performed with a number of orchestras and ensembles, including the renowned Gene Krupa band.

Gordon is a member of the Alumni Association's Directors' Club.