Jody Kerchner

  • Professor of Music Education


  • BS, music education, West Chester University, 1987
  • MM, vocal performance, West Chester University, 1991
  • PhD, music education, Northwestern University, 1996


Jody L. Kerchner specializes in secondary school music and choral music education. She was awarded the Oberlin College Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011. She is founder and conductor of Oberlin Music at Grafton, a prison choir at the Grafton Correctional Institution.

Prior to teaching at the collegiate level, Kerchner taught K-8 general and choral music in Swarthmore, Pa., and Winnetka, Il., and was conductor of the Oberlin Youth Chorale.

An active clinician, she has presented keynote addresses, research papers, and pedagogy workshops nationally and internationally at conferences in North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Kerchner also frequently serves as guest choral conductor for elementary, middle, and high school honors choral festivals.

Through Oberlin’s partnership with Pioneer Academics, Professor Jody Kerchner works with talented high school students from around the world on advanced research projects related to the foundations of American education.

Kerchner has been elected to her second term as board member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). She is the past chair of ISME’s Music in the Schools & Teacher Education Commission (MISTEC) (2010-12). She has served on the editorial board for the International Journal for Music EducationAsia-Pacific Journal of Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, the International Journal for Arts Education, and Music Educators Journal. She is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), and the College Music Society (CMS).

  • Kerchner, J. & Strand, K. (2016). (Eds.). Musicianship: Composing in Choir. Chicago: GIA Publications.
  • Kerchner, J. (2014). Music Across the Senses: Listening, Learning, Making Meaning. NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Kerchner, J. (2009). Music Experience in Our Lives: Things We Learn, Meanings We Make. Landham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Erwin, J., Edwards, K., Kerchner, J., Knight, J. (2002). Prelude to Music Education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Chapters in Books

Kerchner, J. (2014). Music listening vistas, visions, and vim (chpt. 4). In J. Barrett & P. Webster, Eds., The Musical Experience: Rethinking Music Teaching and Learning. NY: Oxford University Press. (refereed)

Kerchner, J. (2013). Razing structure and raising creative teaching and learning in higher music education programmes (chpt. 24). In P. Burnard (Ed.), Developing Creativities in Higher Education: International Perspectives and Practices. Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge. (refereed)

Kerchner, J. & Abril, C. (2012). Music teacher education: Crossing generational borders (chpt. 18). In G. McPherson & G. Welch, Eds., The Oxford Handbook of Music Education (vol. 2). London: Oxford University Press. (refereed)

Abril, C. & Kerchner, J. (2009). Musical experience in our lives (chpt.1). In J. Kerchner & C. Abril, Eds., Musical Experience in Our Lives: Things We Learn and Meanings We Make (chpt.1). Landham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. (refereed)

Kerchner, J. (2009). Drawing middle-schoolers’ attention to music. In J. Kerchner & C. Abril, Eds., Musical Experience in Our Lives: Things We Learn and Meanings We Make (chpt. 11). Landham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kerchner, J. (2006). Growing into the music educator identity. In M. Moore & B. Leung, Eds., School Music and Teacher Education: A Global Perspective in the New Century (chpt.1). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Education & International Society for Music Education. (refereed)

Kerchner, J. (2006). Tools for developing reflective skills (chpt. 11). In P. Burnard & S. Hennessy, (Eds.). Reflective Practice in Arts Education. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. (refereed)

Kerchner, J. (2005). A world to know and feel: Exploring children’s verbal, visual, and kinesthetic responses to music. In M. Mans & B. Leung, Eds. Music in Schools for All Children: From Research to Effective Practice. Proceedings of the 14th International Seminar of the Music in the Schools and Teacher Education Commission. Granada, Spain: University of Granada. (refereed)

Kerchner, J. (2004). Portfolio assessment in music education methods courses: Experiencing, modeling, teaching, assessing. In P. Shand, Ed., Music Education Entering the 21st Century. Nedlands, Western Australia: International Society for Music Education.

Kerchner, J. (2003). Stepping off of the podium: Leveling the playing (and singing) field. In S. Leong, Ed., Musicianship for the 21st Century (chpt. 11). Sydney, Australia: Australian Music Centre. (ref.)

  • Ballantyne, J., Kerchner, J., & Arostegui, J. (2012). Developing music teacher identities: A cross-cultural study. International Journal for Music Education, 30(3), 211-226.
  • Kerchner, J. (2010). Mapping informance as general music performance. General Music Today, 23(3), 15-19.
  • Kerchner, J. (2006). Collegiate metamorphosis: Tracking the transformation from female music education student to teacher. Bulletin of the Council of Research in Music Education, 169, 7-24.
  • Kerchner, J. (2004). Singing visions: Metaphors for teaching students with visual impairments. Choral Journal, 45(5), 26-36.
  • Kerchner, J. (2002). Keeping the artistry: Modeling the professional life. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 11(2), 14-21.
  • Kerchner, J. (2001). Children's verbal, visual, and kinesthetic responses: Insight into their music listening experience. Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, 146, 31-50.
  • Kerchner, J. (2001). Incorporating the National Standards into a band rehearsal. Teaching Music, 9(1), 40-44.
  • Kerchner, J. (1998). A model for educational partnerships. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 8(1), 7-14.
  • Kjelland, J. & Kerchner, J. (Eds.). (1998).The effect of music performance on music listening. Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, 1-55.
  • Kerchner, J. (Spring 1997). Portfolio assessment: Tracking development, Journal of Music Teacher Education, 6(2), 19-22.

As a qualitative researcher and musician-educator, Kerchner focuses on school music students’ focus of attention, perception, and multisensory (verbal, visual, kinesthetic) responses during music listening; music teacher education; music teacher identity development; reflective teacher praxis; choral music education; empathetic leadership; and portfolio music assessment.

Spring 2024

Strings at Grafton Prison — PACE 106
Conducting II: Choral Analysis — APST 262
Principles of Education — EDUC 300
Principles of Education — PACE 300
Creativity of Music — PACE 316

Fall 2024

Foundational Music Pedagogy — PACE 101F
Strings at Grafton Prison — PACE 106
Psychology of Musical Behaviors — PACE 317


Jody Kerchner to participate in two panels on singing in prison contexts

March 5, 2021

This March, music education professor Jody Kerchner will participate in two panel presentations on the Choral Commons month-long series titled "Gather—Community Music Conversations." The Choral Commons is sponsored in part by the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America. 

The first discussion, on Wednesday, March 10 at 8:00 p.m., features Kerchner's work with the Oberlin Music at Grafton Choir (OMAG). She will be joined by restored citizen and OMAG "founding father" Jerome Thompson. 

On Wednesday, March 17 at 8:00 p.m., Kerchner joins prison singing facilitators Cathy Roma, Mary Cohen, Amanda Weber, and Andre DeQuadros to further discuss prison music engagement.

The sessions are moderated and produced for Facebook by Emilie Amrein and Andre DeQuadros. These webinars are held live and recorded for later viewing on the Choral Commons website

Jody Kerchner Elected to ISME Board

August 14, 2020

Jody L. Kerchner, Professor of Music Education and Director of the PACE Division, was re-elected to her second term (2020-22) as Board Member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME).

Bautista, Fraser, and Kerchner Present at Conference

October 23, 2018

Three faculty members presented "Transformative Imaginations: Decarceration and Liberatory Futures" at the October 2018 Imagining America National Conference in Chicago. The faculty were: Jody Kerchner, professor of music education, director in the division of pedagogy, advocacy, and community engagement, and community-based learning/research faculty fellow; Jennifer Fraser, associate professor of ethnomusicology and anthropology; Adrian Bautista, comparative american studies and senior associate dean for strategic initiatives.

Jody Kerchner Presents

July 27, 2018

Jody Kerchner, professor of music education, presented a conference session at the international Music in the Schools & Teacher Education Commission Seminar in Prague, Czech Republic on July 12. The paper was "What I learned from prison: Practice teaching with community-based partners." 


Full Immersion

June 15, 2023

Dewi Beer’s love of teaching and language converge in a Taiwanese fellowship.

Sarah Wong ’22 Receives Fulbright to Taiwan

June 7, 2022

A musical studies and law and society major, Sarah Wong applied for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to honor her Taiwanese heritage while becoming more fluent in her family’s ancestral languages.