Office of Academic Affairs

Donna Brink Fox, Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Eisenhart Professor of Music Education


Donna Brink Fox, 2016

Donna Brink Fox is Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York.  Dr. Fox has held a faculty appointment in Music Education since 1984 and was named Eisenhart Professor of Music Education in 1998, the first endowed professor to be named at the Eastman School.  She earned a PhD in Music Education from The Ohio State University (1982); MM from Ohio University (1975); and the BA in music from Calvin College (1972).   Additional study includes Harvard’s Management Development Program (1996) and a semester as Provost’s Bridging Fellow in the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester (2006).  Her previous collegiate teaching includes Illinois State University (1980-1984) and Ohio University (1975-1976).

As Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Fox is responsible for faculty affairs, including promotion and tenure reviews, annual activity reports, and hiring of part-time faculty.  She supervises the Student Affairs program areas of Residential Life and Student Activities, along with the Eastman Writing Center and Summer Session.  Dr. Fox chairs the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Professional Development Committee and coordinates the Advanced Certificate in Community/Collegiate Music Teaching.  She has served on the Faculty Senate of the University of Rochester, including a term as Chair of the Executive Committee; and was co-chair of the University’s recent re-accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

Dr. Fox has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in music education, served as the doctoral academic advisor in music education, and advised the research projects of doctoral and master’s students, including 26 dissertations. She founded (1992) and continues to direct the summer Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education course.  At the request of the Dean on her arrival at Eastman, Dr. Fox designed an early music childhood music program for the Eastman Community Music School, and she continues as the Director of this program, now in its 33rd program year.

Donna Brink Fox is widely known as an authority in the field of early childhood music education.  Based on her practice and research in this field, she has given presentations and clinics around the world, including Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Spain, China, Canada, Taiwan, and Cypurs.  She has been appointed visiting faculty at Sydney Conservatorium in Australia and the Shenyang Conservatory in China, and was appointed in 2015 as Global Academic Advisor for the Cyprus Centre of Research and Study in Music Education.  Former students are teaching in Australia, Brazil, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Cyprus, as well as throughout the United States.

Dr. Fox has written articles for a variety of music education publications, including the Music Educators Journal, Journal of Research in Music Education, and the Orff Echo.  She co-authored a three-volume curriculum for teaching music in early childhood classrooms, Classroom Music for Little Mozarts (published by Alfred); the first volume of this series received a Parents’ Choice Award.  She has received grants from the Music Educators National Conference, the Paul Foundation, the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Texaco Foundation, and the New York Council on the Arts for research and program models related to early childhood music education and to music teacher education.

A founding member of the Early Childhood Special Research Interest Group (SRIG) of the National Association for Music Education in 1979, Dr. Fox was Eastern Division representative to the Music Education Research Council, the executive committee of the Society for Research in Music Education of NAfME, from 2006 to 2012.  She has been a member of the Research Committee of the New York State School Music Association, the Advisory Board of the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association, and the Development Committee of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.   She has served on the editorial committees of the e-journal for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the editorial board of Psychomusicology, and is currently on the board of New Directions in Music Education, an e-journal published by Michigan State University.

Dr. Fox received Eastman’s Eisenhart Distinguished Teaching Award in 1996.  Her Rochester community honors include the Richard Snook Memorial Award from the Monroe County School Music Association (2004) and the Outstanding Music Educator Award from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (2007).   She has received outstanding alumni awards from the School of Music and the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University, and in 2010 received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Music at The Ohio State University.  She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and Pi Kappa Lambda music honorary society; and was recently named Musician of the Year by the local alumni chapter of the music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon.  In 2016 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Susan B. Anthony Center at the University of Rochester.

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