Kate Fitzpatrick


Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Music


Kate Fitzpatrick (she/her/hers) is Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. In addition to holding BME and MA degrees from The Ohio State University, Fitzpatrick holds a Ph.D. in music education from Northwestern University, where her mixed methods dissertation focused on the experiences of instrumental music teachers in the Chicago Public Schools.

Before coming to U-M in the fall of 2008, Fitzpatrick served as assistant professor of music education and assistant director of bands at the University of Louisville, where she conducted the Symphonic Band. At U-M, Fitzpatrick has taught a variety of courses on topics such as Social Justice in the Arts, Secondary Instrumental Methods, The Art of Music Teaching, Curriculum and Assessment, and Advanced Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Research.

Fitzpatrick is an active and prolific researcher, specializing in arts equity, urban music education, culturally responsive pedagogy, gender and motherhood in the academy, and mixed methods research. Her research has been published in the Journal of Research in Music EducationResearch Studies in Music Education, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, the International Journal of Music Education, Contributions to Music Education, the Music Educators Journal, and the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, in addition to numerous book chapters. Her work has been presented at national and international conferences such as the National Association for Music Education Music Research and Teacher Education Conference, the biennial meeting of the Society for Music Teacher Education Conference, the College Music Society, the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, and the International Society for Music Education World Conference.

Her book, Urban Music Education: A Practical Guide for Teachers, was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press. Fitzpatrick has served on the editorial boards for the Journal of Research in Music Education and UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education. She is the past national elected chair of the Social Sciences Special Research Interest Group for the National Association of Music Education. Fitzpatrick serves as a faculty expert affiliate to Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, which focuses on fostering research related to the prevention and alleviation of poverty, and also serves on the Advisory Board for the Save the Music Foundation.

Dr. Fitzpatrick is a 2020 winner of the Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change, awarded to University of Michigan faculty “whose sustained efforts have resulted in greater equity with regard to gender, race, class, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.” In 2022, she was named a fellow of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program.

An avid supporter of public school music programs, Fitzpatrick is the former director of instrumental music at Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio, where she directed the district’s largest band and orchestra program. She is also the recipient of the 2003 God and Country Award for her “outstanding, sensitive leadership of young people.”


Selected Scholarly Publications

Fitzpatrick, K. & Sweet, B. (2023). Motherhood in the music academy: Perspectives of early, mid, and late career faculty. Journal of Research in Music Education, Online First.  

Fitzpatrick, K. (2021) Finding the other half of me: Culture-based approaches to music education in Hawai`i. Journal of Research in Music Education, Online First 2021, publication date Spring 2022.

Fitzpatrick, K. (2015). Urban music education: A practical guide for teachers. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fitzpatrick, K. (2014). Points of convergence in music education: The use of data labels as a strategy for mixed methods integration. Journal of Mixed Methods Research.

Fitzpatrick, K. (2014). Blogging through the student teaching experience: Developing virtual communities of practice. Research Studies in Music Education, 36(1), 91-105.

Fitzpatrick, K., Henninger, J., Taylor, D. (2014). Access and retention: Experiences of marginalized populations in music teacher education. Journal of Research in Music Education, 62(2), 105-127.  Podcast

Fitzpatrick, K. (2013). Motherhood and the high school band director: A case study. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 19, 7-23.

Fitzpatrick, K. (2012). A Survey of the characteristics and perceptions of urban and suburban secondary instrumental music teachers. Contributions to Music Education, 39(1).

Fitzpatrick, K. (2012). School-based management and arts education: Lessons from Chicago. Arts Education Policy Review, 113(3), 106-111.

Fitzpatrick, K. (2012). Cultural diversity and the formation of identity: Our role as music teachers. Music Educators Journal, 98(4), 53-59.

Fitzpatrick, K. (2011). A mixed methods portrait of urban instrumental music teaching. Journal of Research in Music Education, 59(3), 229-256.

Fitzpatrick, K. (2006). The effect of instrumental music participation and socioeconomic status on Ohio Fourth-, Sixth-, and Ninth- Grade Proficiency Test performance. Journal of Research in Music Education, 54(1), 73-84.