Department of Music
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Dr. Robert McFadden

Professor Emeritus of Music, Applied Piano


  • B.M., Wichita State University
  • M.M., University of Michigan
  • D.M.A., University of Kansas

About Dr. Robert McFadden

Robert McFadden is a native of Kansas. He attended Wichita State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Piano) magna cum laude. While attending WSU he won the concerto-aria competition and performed the Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 with the university orchestra. He subsequently attended the University of Michigan while serving as a graduate Teaching Fellow with Alice M. Kern. He earned an M.M. degree in piano performance. He studied applied piano with Marian Owen-Hunt and chamber music with Eugene Bossart. McFadden earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance at the University of Kansas, where his major professor was Richard Angeletti. While attending KU, he performed in master classes with Leon Fleisher and Menahem Pressler.

Dr. McFadden has taught previously at Hesston College. There he taught private and group piano, Fundamentals of Music, Piano Pedagogy, and the capstone course for Foundational Studies in music. He also taught at South Carolina State University. His responsibilities there were private and group piano and supervisor of the music library and listening facilities. Since 1984, Dr. McFadden has taught at Southeastern where he teaches private piano, undergraduate music history, music literature and appreciation, and directed readings in music history. He accompanies Southeastern Chorale, Opera Theatre, and vocal recitalists.

He received a number of SOSU research grants to pursue the Suzuki method of piano study as it compares with traditional private teaching. He attended courses at the Great Plains Suzuki Teacher Training Institute, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas; and the Suzuki Teacher Training Institute at Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, Texas.

He has presented papers and lecture recital presentations at a number of regional meetings of the College Music Society, Oklahoma Music Teachers Association district and state conferences, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, SOSU’s Graduate Faculty Colloquium, SOSU’s Arts and Science Lecture Series, and at colleges, universities, and other venues in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and North Carolina. Topics presented include:

  • Keys to the Success of the Suzuki Piano Method
  • How Do You Approach Piano Technique?
  • Why Not Play a Transcription?
  • The Art of the Piano Transcription
  • Better Performances by Using the Score
  • The Evolution of the Waltz Through the Early Twentieth Century

Dr. McFadden presented a series of solo piano recitals in Mexico City and in Wakefield, England. He has performed in a number of collaborative concerts with artists in Oklahoma and has performed solo concertos with orchestras. In 2000 he was asked to adjudicate at the Second Chinese Composers Competition in Hong Kong. He has judged for auditions of the National Guild of Piano Teachers in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and for competitions of the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA). In 2006 he was asked to adjudicate for the MTNA West Central Division competitions in Omaha.

He maintains a small class of pre-college piano students who have won numerous local and state competitions. He is active as a church musician in Denison, Texas, where he serves as organist and pianist at Waples Memorial United Methodist Church and the Christian Science Church.

Dr. McFadden has been very active in offices of the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association. He was elected to the state board as southeast district representative, and has served at the state level as Vice President for Local Associations and Student Chapters, Vice President for Membership and Certification, President-elect, and is currently in his second year as president.