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Emerging scholar in music education joins ASU School of Music

The Arizona State University School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts will welcome Matthew Fiorentino as assistant professor of music education in August 2019.

Matthew Fiorentino

“We are thrilled to have attracted Matthew Fiorentino to our faculty at this important time in the history of the school,” said Heather Landes, director of the school. “Mr. Fiorentino’s research interests in diversity, social justice including issues related to race and sexual identity, teacher preparation, and his expertise in string pedagogy complement our diverse offerings and will contribute greatly to the music education program.”

Fiorentino said his inspiration to become a teacher came from his high school orchestra teacher, who helped him through personal difficulties by recognizing and building on his strengths. As a public school teacher and a music teacher educator, he said kindness is important when teaching students how to develop tools of critical inquiry to help them understand themselves, other students, schooling and music education. 

“My experience across multiple educational settings provides me with an excellent platform from which to work with developing educators,” Fiorentino said. “Engaging undergraduate students in conversations about planning, instruction and curriculum in music teaching is as exciting to me as refining approaches to research and theoretical frameworks with master's and doctoral students. I am dedicated to supporting the development of preservice music educators and the well-being of music students of color and other underrepresented identities through my ongoing projects and publications.”

Fiorentino is completing his PhD in music education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a Master of Music Education from Boise State University and a Bachelor of Music Education from the State University of New York at Potsdam, Crane School of Music.

His teaching experience includes the University of Illinois and high school and elementary strings, concert band, general music, guitar, music theory and music history as well as conduct and clinic orchestras throughout the Midwest.

Fiorentino’s research interests include educational leadership, issues of social justice and string and chamber music pedagogy. He has given peer-reviewed presentations at the 2019 Desert Skies Symposia, 14th Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Big Ten Academic Alliance Conference, National Association for Music Education, Symposium for the Society for Music Teacher Education, the Illinois ASTA conferences and the Illinois Music Educators Association’s “Spotlight on Research” session.

“One of the most exciting aspects of Arizona State University’s music education program is the incredible faculty and their research,” Fiorentino said. “The music education faculty continues to produce thoughtful and meaningful work that is highly relevant to contemporary issues in our field, and I am excited for the opportunity to join a team focused on innovation and engaged in working with their community.”