JenBlackwell-10Jennifer Blackwell is a Canadian music educator, music researcher, and saxophonist, currently serving as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. She previously taught at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she was the recipient of the 2022 Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching. She has presented research-based and practitioners sessions at the NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference,  the Canadian New Music Network Forum, the Michigan Music Conference, the Ontario Music Educators’ Association Conference, the Canadian Conference for Music Education, the Association for Popular Music Education National Conference, and the Desert Skies Symposium on Research in Music Learning and Teaching, among others. She has published articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher EducationInternational Journal of Music EducationResearch Studies in Music Education, Frontiers in Psychology, Journal of Research in Music Performance, The Saxophone Symposium, and Canadian Music Educator. Her research interests include applied music teaching expertise, music performance expertise, popular music pedagogy, applications of authentic context learning paradigms, and teacher training. Jennifer also served as the editor of the North American Saxophone Alliance’s scholarly publication, The Saxophone Symposium from 2014-2022.

As an active performer and advocate for new music, Dr. Blackwell has premiered over 30 new works for saxophone, frequently collaborating with emerging and established composers. She has been selected to perform at several North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conferences, including the Region V Conference in March 2013 at Bowling Green State University (premiering works by Andrew Cote and Mike Romaniak) and the Region IV Conference in February 2015 at the University of Oklahoma (performing the premiere of Mike Romaniak’s nobody on my side for soprano saxophone and fixed media). In March 2014, she premiered Andrew Cote’s Sonata for Prepared Alto Saxophone at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in March 2016 Jay Batzner’s Abstain Red Hells for soprano saxophone and electronics at Texas Tech University. She served as director of CMU’s New Music Ensemble from 2012-2014, and founded the highly successful Composers Project with this group. Most recently, she completed a semester-long residency in new music with Brian KM at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, performing original works for saxophone and horn based on street art in Honolulu. Jennifer has worked extensively as a woodwind studio teacher and ensemble director in both Canada and the United States, working with students aged 10-85 in a variety of settings including middle school, high school, community ensembles, and universities. She is an active woodwind clinician in both Canada and the United States.

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in music education (University of Western Ontario), master’s degrees in both music education and saxophone performance (Central Michigan University), and a PhD in Music Education (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University). Her teachers include Barry Usher, Bobbi Thompson, Ryan Fraser, Marie Johnson (clarinet), John Nichol, Tom Walsh, and Otis Murphy.