Bob Allen received his Bachelor of Music degree (BM) in music performance from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley (1981), a Master of Music degree (MM) in music performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1985), and also did additional post-graduate studies at UNC-Greensboro (1986-1987). He received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree (DMA) in music education from Boston University in 2010. Dr. Allen’s research includes educational theory, music education philosophy, curriculum, and pedagogy.
From 1989 -1997 Dr. Allen taught percussion at Rocky Mountain College and general music at Yellowstone Baptist College concurrently, both located in Billings, Montana. While at Yellowstone Baptist College, he developed the curriculum for the music program and taught courses in theory, music history, form and analysis, piano, conducting, and directed the choir.
Currently, Dr. Allen maintains a busy private teaching studio with over forty students, many of whom have competed at the regional and national levels in music performance. Several of his students have also received awards and scholarships in order to further their careers. His teaching methods have helped many students attain their goals of becoming professional music instructors and performers.
Dr. Allen established himself as a performing artist during the 1980s. He became a music clinician for the Ludwig/Musser Drum Company from 1991-2007. In 1993, he was featured in a PBS Special entitled “The Piston Stroke.” His article “Success: Process or Product,” which discusses the issue of performance anxiety, was published in 1996 in Percussion Notes, a publication of the Percussion Arts Society. Current recordings include Spanish Romance – a double CD featuring marimba orchestra (CD1) and solo marimba (CD2), Reverence – marimba orchestra; and My Brother Made Me Do It! (perform with Dave Allen) – drumset, marimba, and multiple percusion instruments. Currently, he performs with his wife, Jeni Lord, as the duo, Lord-Allen.
“Stage fright” has become a central issue concerning musical performance for the past several decades. To this end, Dr. Allen has researched aspects of performance anxiety and developed a method using free improvisation as a means for reducing “stage fright.” Furthermore, he found that playing the piano gives students the opportunity to combine visual, aural, and kenisthetic aspects of musical sound and performance; that is to say, characteristics that are specific to the piano.
A study by Dr. Allen (2007) found that free improvisation reduced levels of “stage fright.” Results from his dissertation entitled Free Improvisation and Performance Anxiety Among Piano Students (2010) showed that students who played a free improvisation during a public performance experienced significant reductions in levels of anxiety.
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