James Austin is Professor of Music Education and former Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Undergraduate Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He currently teaches graduate courses, and directs master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. Austin received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Dakota and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Iowa. Prior to his arrival at the University of Colorado, he taught instrumental music (grades 4-12) in Minnesota, served as a graduate teaching and research assistant at the University of Iowa and was on the music education faculty at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Austin’s research interests include student motivation, teacher education, classroom-level assessment and school/arts policy implications of educational reform. His publication record is extensive, including book chapters in The Child as Musician and Advances in Music Education Research and articles in the Instrumentalist, Music Educators Journal, General Music Today, Contributions to Music Education, Update, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music, American Educational Research Journal and British Journal of Educational Psychology. He has presented papers at national and international conferences in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Scotland and Austria. He has been an editorial board/committee member for the Journal of Research in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and Psychology of Music. From 2000 to 2005, he served as Music Education SIG Program Chair and Chair for the American Educational Research Association, and from 2004 to 2006, he was Chair of the MENC Measurement and Evaluation SRIG. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Society for Music Teacher Education and as editor of the Journal of Music Teacher Education.
Austin remains active as a consultant, clinician and guest speaker in public schools and on college campuses. He also holds memberships in the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) and was inducted into the CMEA Hall of Fame in 2022; as well, he holds memberships in the National Association for Music Education, the International Society for Music Education and the American Educational Research Association. In 2004, he was awarded the Richard Bern Trego Faculty Fellowship by the College of Music, and in 2015 he received an Excellence in Leadership and Service Award from the Faculty Assembly at the University of Colorado Boulder.