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Martin Norgaard

Associate Professor, Music Education    

Music Education – Strings

Martin Norgaard is Associate Professor of Music Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta where he is collaborating with faculty in mathematics, computer science, linguistics, and physics to investigate the cognitive processes underlying improvisation. He received the Dean’s Early Career Award in recognition of “outstanding work” as a faculty member of Georgia State University and was just appointed associate faculty of the Neuroscience Institute. In 2013 he presented his research in Toronto and Vienna, Austria and organized a symposium at GSU entitled The Improvising Brain. Papers from the symposium were featured in a special issue of Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain for which Dr. Norgaard served as guest editor and a follow-up symposium, The Improvising Brain II – Multiple Perspectives, took place March 2015. His research appears in the Journal of Research in Music Education, The International Journal of Music Education (article in press), and the interdisciplinary journal Music Perception.

Dr. Norgaard is the author of ten jazz string method books for Mel Bay Publications including Jazz Fiddle Wizard and Jazz Fiddle/Viola/Cello Wizard Junior and the composer of several string orchestra pieces for The FJH Music Company and Alfred Music Publishing. Dr. Norgaard serves on the Music Educators Journaladvisory board and just finished work on the Emerging Ensembles Subcommittee writing the next generation National Standards in the Arts under the auspices of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. Dr. Norgaard is a frequent clinician at state, national, and international conventions such as The ISME World Conference on Music Education in Thessaloniki, Greece, Singapore International String Conference, The Midwest Clinic, NAfME, ASTA, GMEA, and TMEA.

Born and raised in Denmark, Norgaard moved to the United States to study jazz performance at William Paterson University, and Queens College in New York, where his instructors included Rufus Reid, Hal Galper, Jimmy Heath and others. He then moved to Nashville where taught jazz and commercial strings at Belmont University and Vanderbilt University. There he directed the Belmont Jazz String Quartet and Jazz String Septet, which were featured at the International Association for Jazz Education 2001 conference, MENC 2002 and ASTA 2003. Prior to his appointment at Georgia State University, Dr. Norgaard received a PhD in music and human learning from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Robert Duke and Laurie Scott.

Selected articles:

Norgaard, M. (2017). Descriptions of improvisational thinking by developing jazz improvisers. International Journal of Music Education. 35(2), 259-271.

Norgaard, M. & Taylor, C. F. (2016). Eclectic styles and improvisation in school orchestra performances. String Research Journal. 7, 45-61.

Adhikari, B., Norgaard, M., Quinn, K., Ampudia, J., & Dhamala, M. (2016). The brain network underpinning novel melody creation. Brain Connectivity. 6(10), 772-785.

Norgaard, M., Emerson, S. N., Dawn, K., & Fidlon, J. (2016). Creating under Pressure: Effects of divided attention on the improvised output of skilled jazz musicians. Music Perception. 33(5), 561-570.

Norgaard, M. (2014). How jazz musicians improvise: The central role of auditory and motor patterns. Music Perception. 31(3), 271-287. Citation count 31 (Google Scholar, 9/13/17)

 Norgaard, M., Spencer, J., & Montiel, M. (2013). Testing cognitive theories by creating a pattern-based probabilistic algorithm for melody and rhythm in jazz improvisation. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain. 23(4), 243-254. Citation count 12 (Google Scholar, 9/13/17)

 Norgaard, M. (2011). Descriptions of improvisational thinking by artist-level jazz musicians. Journal of Research in Music Education. 59(2), 109-127. Citation count 83 (Google Scholar, 9/13/17)