Justin J. West, Ph.D.

Justin West

Assistant Professor of Music Education

School of Music
259 Music and Dramatic Arts Building
Dr. Justin J. West is assistant professor of music education at LSU. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas, where he earned a Ph.D. in music education with cognate fields in educational research and educational administration and was a UNT McNair Scholars Fellow in music education. He also holds a Master of Arts in music and music education from Columbia University; a Bachelor of Music in choral music education, magna cum laude, from Lamar University; and Texas teacher and principal certifications. Dr. West teaches choral music education, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and music education foundations for the School of Music.
An active scholar, Dr. West studies the theories, practices, and policies of music teacher learning and professional development (PD). Through his qualitative work, he examines PD programs to understand how prominent theories of effective PD are feasibly enacted at the school and/or district levels. With his quantitative work, he leverages large nationally representative datasets to understand trends in PD practices and policies over time, focusing on how best to promote widespread music teacher access to high-quality PD. His articles are published in a variety of peer-reviewed academic journals, including Arts Education Policy Review, Journal of Music Teacher Education, and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. He's a frequent presenter on research and teaching at music education conferences across the U.S., including the Symposium on Music Teacher Education, NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education Conference, Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention, Texas Choral Directors Association Convention, Desert Skies Symposium on Music Education Research, and the Mid-South Music Education Research Symposium.
Dr. West is a principal investigator with the LSU Translational Research in Music Group (TRMG), established in 2019 to leverage academic scholarship in music and music education for interdisciplinary and general audiences. For the TRMG he's currently lead author and facilitator of the Reciprocal Peer Coaching Initiative, a professional development collaboration with East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools. Dr. West also began in 2019 a four-year term as co-facilitator of the Professional Development for Music Teachers Area for Strategic Planning and Action, a working group within the Society for Music Teacher Education. He remains active as a professional development provider and choral clinician.
Dr. West has enjoyed a successful career as a public-school choral music educator and as a church musician serving in a variety of roles (choral director, pianist, and organist). He was director of choirs for the Crosby Independent School District, near Houston, TX, where he led the high school choirs, taught AP music theory, and coordinated district-wide choral activities. In 2013, he was named Crosby High School Rising Star Teacher of the Year and, in 2015, the choral program under his leadership earned its first Division I festival ratings since 2001. Before arriving in Baton Rouge, he served as director of music ministries at Northway Christian Church in Dallas, TX, where he led a varied music in worship program and conducted the Chancel Choir. Currently, he's pianist and organist at Blackwater United Methodist Church in Central, Louisiana.