George L. Duerksen, professor and advisor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at Kansas. As a Fulbright Scholar, he researched uses of music in healing and learning by Australian aborigines. His interests include the influence of music on behavior, music research, measurement, assessment, and evaluation techniques, and improvisation skills.
He has teaching experience in elementary and secondary school vocal, general, and instrumental music. While a music therapy and music education faculty member at Michigan State University, he planned, equipped, and operated the psychology of music laboratory. In fall, 1969, he returned to the University of Kansas as chair of the department of music education and music therapy.
Duerksen served as editor of the Journal of Research in Music Education and has been a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Music Therapy, the Bulletin for Research in Music Education, the Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning, Update. He has been chairman of the Music Education Research Council of the Music Educators National Conference. He has written book chapters, monographs, and contributed articles to numerous journals and to The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. Several divisions of the United States Office of Education have funded his research.
He completed a music therapy internship in Borocourt and Fairmile Hospitals in England, became a Registered Music Therapist (RMT), and was board certified (MT-BC) from 1988 through 2002. He has presented lecture series and workshops for the Australian Music Therapy Association, the New Zealand Society for Music Therapy, the Korean Music Therapy Association, and music therapy groups in England and Greece. He has served as a consultant and visiting professor in a variety of institutions including the University of Hawaii, Eastman School of Music, Melbourne University in Australia, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, Reading University in England, and SookMyung University in Korea.