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Dina Alexander, Ph.D.

Professor of Music Education (Instrumental Music)



Dina Alexander, Ph.D., is Professor of Music Education (instrumental music) at Roberts Wesleyan College (RWC).  After a notable career in public school music teaching, Dina returned to the Eastman School of Music (B.M. ’85, and M.A. ’88) to earn a Ph.D. in music education (2015). Prior to joining the exceptional music department at Roberts Wesleyan College, Dr. Alexander was Professor of Music Education at Drake University in Des Moines, IA.

As a public school music teacher, Dina taught instrumental music to beginning through advanced students. She was the first music educator to demonstrate the extraordinary effectiveness of teaching beginning instrumental music using “Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series (JRI),” a method developed by Eastman School of Music professors of music education, Richard Grunow, and Christopher Azzara. JRI is a sound-before-sight approach to teaching beginning instrumental music, grounded in Dr. Edwin Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. The extraordinary musical achievements demonstrated by Dina’s elementary students have garnered interest and admiration from music educators at home and abroad. Videos of her students’ performances may be viewed on her website at:

Dr. Alexander’s groundbreaking doctoral dissertation, Intrinsic Motivation in Collegiate Secondary Music Instrument Class, united exciting new research in motivation with research in music teaching and learning. Her article, “Intrinsic Motivation: The Key to Fully Engaged Music Students,” outlined this connection. It was published in Italy, but can be read in English at:  

Expert in instrumental music teaching and learning, intrinsic motivation in music education, and teaching aural skills, Dr. Alexander presents research and workshops around the world, most recently in the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. In addition to furthering research in intrinsic motivation, Dina develops practical instrumental teaching materials for music educators, and mentors music teachers eager to develop and improve their teaching skills and techniques.

A versatile trumpet player, Dina has performed in a wide variety of professional settings, including orchestras, big bands, pit orchestras, and brass quintets. “Celebrate,” an album of wedding and ceremonial music, features Dina and her husband, Bruce, on trumpets, and Duane Prill on organ.

At RWC, Dr. Alexander teaches Instrumental Music Methods, Brass Methods I & II, Percussion Methods, Aural Skills I & II, Student Teacher Seminar, and oversees Student Teaching (instrumental).

Professional Affiliations:

National Association for Music Educators (NAfME)

New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA)

International Organization of Self-Determination Theory (SDT)

Society for Music Teacher Educators (SMTE)

Instrumental Music Teacher Educators (IMTE)

Gordon Institute of Music Learning (GIML)

(Named to the GIML Publications Commission of the Board of Directors in 2017)

Audiation Institute of Italy (IEGAM)

Gordon Institute of Switzerland (EEGIS)

Gordon Institute of Music Education Spain (IGEME)