Welcome to the Personal Website for
Peter Richard Webster

Greetings and welcome to my little part of cyberspace!

I am an adjunct professor with an appointment as Scholar-in-Residence at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I recently retired as a professor emeritus from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

I am very interested in children's creative thinking in music and in the appropriate use of music technology for music teaching and learning. I do research and write extensively in these fields as well as offer papers and workshops both nationally and internationally. I continue to play my trumpet as much as time allows and am an avid concert goer and iPad2 user. Click on the links to the right for more biographical information.

My hobbies include sailing, biking and reading novels. I've been known to enjoy a good meal or two in area Chicago and now Los Angeles eateries before a night of theatre and wouldn't turn down a glass of good Irish or Scotch whiskey and a good cigar.

Link to information about my latest research on adult creativeness and music background sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)!


Full Resume Download .pdf (September, 2015)


Recent Presentations

Technology Presentations by Peter R. Webster with David B. Williams
ATMI/CMS Conference Presenetations from 2010-2015
PDFs of slides (Under the Resources Tab)

CMS Presentations on the Contemporary Music Project and The Task Force Report on Undergraduate Education in Music
Webster Presentation (PDF of Slides) and Reference Handout
Brian Weidner Site for Comprehensive Musicianship Prepared for Panel Presentation Prior to Webster Talk

University of Delaware, October 2015

Little Kids Rock, Fort Collins, CO July 2015

University of Illinois, May, 2015
Polymathic Thinking and Music Teaching and Learning
Encouraging Creative Thinking/CMS Report

RIME 2015, April
Polymathic Thinking

Defining Music Technology Competencies: Exemplars
Powerpoint Presentation
Full Spreadsheet of Projects

ISME, Porto Alegre, Brazil, July, 2014
Vision/Optimism Keynote
Adult Creativeness and Music (NAMM Grant) Survey Analysis

Jean Sinor Memorial Lecture, Indiana University, 2014
New Directions in Music Teaching and Learning: Vision 2020

New Directions in Music Teaching and Learnin
Stamps Lecture, University of Miami, Frost School of Muisc, April 2013
Keynote Slides

Society for Music Teacher Education, September 2013
Status of Doctoral Programs in Music Education
A joint presentation by Joanne Rutkowski and Jason Gosset (Penn State) and myself

Basic Presentation on Encouraging Imaginative Thinking in Music
Encouraging Imaginative Thought Powerpoint
Encouraging Imaginative Thought Handout

Projects/Sample Publications

iBook Publication

Coming about: A retrospective review of, and reflections on, the writings of Peter Webster (pdf file)

Also available for Mac, iPad, and iPhone as an Apple iBook under the same title
Link to the iBook App

Other Sample Publications

Webster, P. (1990). Creativity as creative thinking. Music Educators Journal. 76 (9), May, 1990, pp, 22-28. [Google Scholar rated this article as the #1 most frequently cited article in Music Educators Journal as of June, 2010.]

Webster, P.  (2011).  Constructivism and Music Learning.  In R. Colwell and P. Webster (Eds.) MENC Handbook of Research on Music Learning, Vol. 1, (35-83) New York, New York:Oxford University

Webster, P. (2009). Children as Creative Thinkers in Music: Focus on Composition. In: L. Hallam, I. Cross & M. Thaut (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, (pp. 421-428) Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Webster, P. (2009). Music technology as a servant to real music experience, Orff Echo, XLII (1), 9-12.

Webster, P. (2007). Computer-based technology and music teaching and learning: 2000-2005. In L. Bresler (ed.), The International Handbook of Research in Arts Education, (1311-1328).Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Webster, P, and Hickey, M. (2006). Computers and technology, In: McPherson, G. (ed.), The child as musician: a handbook of musical development, (pp. 375-395).New York:Oxford University Press.

Webster, P. (2002). Creative thinking in music: Advancing a model. In: T. Sullivan, & L. Willingham, (Eds.), Creativity and music education (pp. 16-33). Edmonton, AB: Canadian Music Educators’ Association.

Webster, P. (2002). Historical perspectives on technology and music. Music Educators Journal. 89 (1), pp. 38-43. 

Important Projects

I distribute upon request: Measures of Creative Thinking in Music II (MCTMII).
Below is a short video clip of portion of the measure and a short description together with the scoring summary page. Contact me directly with your questions.
Video Clip

This is an unedited compilation of writings on the subject of creative thinking in music with focus on child and young adult learners. It is drawn from theoretical, practical, and research-based literature. I try to update this each year.
Please send me information on additions that I have missed which are worthy of inclusion.
Annotated Bibliography on Creative Thinking in Music, K-College (pdf)

This is a descriptive model of creative thinking in music that I have used in recent years to help focus my thinking on important variable groupings that play an important role in the creative thinking process.
Like all models of this sort, I continually revise it. I welcome comment on the design and content.
Creative Thinking in Music Model

This is a listing that David Williams and I maintain which represents some of the most respected music software in use today in North America. This list is revised each year. Let us know what you would add!!
Recommended Music Software for Personal Computers


Please send comments to peterweb@usc.edu
Revised: September, 2015