Dr. Jamila L. McWhirter

Professor of Choral Music Education

Dr. Jamila L. McWhirter
615-898-5922
Room 213, Saunders Fine Arts Building (SFA)
MTSU Box 47, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • PHD, University of Missouri (2005)
  • MA, University of Central Missouri (1995)
  • BM, Southwest Baptist University (1989)

Areas of Expertise

Choral Music Education

Foundations and Philosophy of Music Education

Research in Music Teacher Education

Music Education Mentoring

Biography

Dr. Jamila L. McWhirter is Professor of Music Education at MTSU, having also served as Coordinator of Music Education for a decade.  She is also the past Director of the MTSU Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA) program during its inception, ushering the program to approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. She currently serves as the National Chair for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Standing Committee on Education and Communication.  Dr. McWhirter is ...

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Dr. Jamila L. McWhirter is Professor of Music Education at MTSU, having also served as Coordinator of Music Education for a decade.  She is also the past Director of the MTSU Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA) program during its inception, ushering the program to approval by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. She currently serves as the National Chair for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Standing Committee on Education and Communication.  Dr. McWhirter is also on the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Editorial Advisory Board for the Music Educators Journal.  She is the author of "A Creative Duet:  Mentoring Strategies for Emerging Music Educators", published by Oxford University Press.  Her research has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, as well as presented on numerous occasions at multiple national conferences for NAfME, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE) and Society for Research in Music Education (SRME). She has served as Guest Editor for the ACDA Choral Journal and as a contributing author.  Dr. McWhirter served for fourteen consecutive years on the Tennessee Music Educators Association Executive Board in various positions as the State Chair of Research, State Chair of the Tennessee Society for Music Teacher Education, State Chair of Higher Education, and State CNAfME Chair. During these years of service, she founded the Tennessee All-Collegiate Ensembles, TNCMENC (CNAfME) State Fall Kick-Off, TNSMTE Symposium, and developed an online proposal submission process for the TMEA Research Poster Session.  She has also served as the State Chair for the national Keep Singing Project.  She currently serves as the Collegiate Chair for the Middle Tennessee Vocal Association (MTVA).  She is active throughout the United States as a guest conductor, clinician, presenter, and adjudicator.  She also enjoys working with choirs from various parts of the United States through her clinician and adjudication work with Festivals of Music, Performing Arts Consultants, and Fiesta-Val Music.  Before coming to Tennessee, Dr. McWhirter taught for 16 years in the state of Missouri, with thirteen of those years as a K-12 choral educator.  She also taught as adjunct faculty and lecturer at the University of Central Missouri, Missouri Baptist University, and Stephens College.  As a doctoral teaching assistant, she taught and conducted the Mizzou Chamber Choir and University Singers, as well as courses in music teacher education.  As a high school choral director, her choirs consistently received top ratings and were known for stellar performances.  Over the years her choirs and voice students have been selected for many honors including national ACDA conferences, state music education association conferences, and invitations to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Ryman Auditorium, and Juanita K. Hammonds Center for the Performing Arts. Outside of the school arena, she has founded and conducted several community choirs and numerous church choirs, with her first church music director position beginning at the age of 15.  While in Missouri, she also served in numerous positions, including the State Treasurer for the Missouri Choral Directors Association and West-Central District President for the Missouri Music Educators Association.  She served on several committees for the Missouri Fine Arts Academy and Missouri State High School Activities Association.  She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, ACDA, NAfME, SRME, SMTE, and TMEA.  She has been nominated by students numerous times for inclusions in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  She is also named in Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who Among American Women, Who’s Who in America and National Chancellor’s List.  She has been honored as one of the 100 Most Beautiful People of Murfreesboro by the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  She is in her 32nd year of teaching and 16th year at MTSU.

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