Education and Academic Life.

Pitt Seal


Academics have been a very big part of my life from 1988 to the present. I was never very interested in high school, but caught the academic bug twelve years later. In the 20 or so years I spent in academia, I rose from freshman student at a community college, to the level of Doctor/Lecturer at one of the nation's more prestigious universities. Although I continue studying and writing, I am no longer a teacher. It is a tough time to be a non-tenured educator in the United States.

Below I offer a glimpse into some of the work I have done over the years in the ivory tower.

My Schools

I was fortunate enough to attend two of the finest universities in the country: Pitt and UCLA. I did my undergraduate work at Pitt, and my graduate work at UCLA. It was hard work and good times.

UC Seal


Much of my early academic growth took place at the University of Pittsburgh, my beloved Pitt. Pitt is just chock full of brilliant people and I was so lucky to have studied music with Dr. Deane L. Root, Max Brandt, Nathan Davis, John Goldsmith, Don Franklin, René Lysloff, John Maione and Joe Negri; Latin American History with G. Reid Andrews; and Portuguese with Bobby Chamberlain. This was a wonderful time in my life when I was stocking up on knowledge. I studied at Pitt and other schools for several years without declaring a major. I was having too much fun just taking courses!! I miss those years in many ways! I graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.98) and was accepted to the

Pitt Cathedral of Learning

school of my choice, UCLA, to major in ethnomusicology. At Pitt I specialized in jazz and studied under Dr. Nathan Davis. Perhaps the most challenging course was jazz arranging for big band. I also enrolled in the Latin American Studies Certificate Program which entailed a two-month immersion project where I lived on my own in Maringá, Paraná, Brazil for 2 months. It was an amazing time of self-discovery.

Degrees Earned:

  • B.A. Music with Jazz Concentration 1997
  • Latin American Studies Certificate 1996

The education I recieved at Pitt prepared me well for graduate study at UCLA. I hit the ground running and blew away the Master's degree coursework in one year. I spent the second year researching and writing my thesis, “Trem do Forró: Tourism, Musical Tradition and Transformation in Pernambuco, Brazil, 1945-2000.” Due to poor funding in my department I ended up working more than studying during my Ph.D. program. I took a full-time job as Instructional Technologist at the UCLA Office of Instructional Development to fund my studies. I defended my dissertation, “Who are the Pirates? Power Relationships in a Globalized Music Market, Ethnomusicological Perspectives,” in 2005. The following year, I was invited to join the faculty as an adjunct lecturer. I designed and taught the courses: Music of Brazil, Global Pop, and Music and Media from 2006 through 2008 when their budget discontinued my appointment. I continued my position as Instructional Technologist through 2011 until budget cuts eliminated that position.

UCLA Royce Hall

UCLA was a luke-warm experience for me. I loved meeting and playing with so many remarkable musicians, but the academic aspect left a lot to be desired. I felt terribly unchallenged by the coursework. The biggest challenge was doing fieldwork in Brazil with zero funding! The Department of Ethnomusicology (and much of UCLA) was rife with corruption, power struggles, animosity, poor mentoring, favoritism and selective funding. It was through sheer determination I survived, but it left a forever lingering bitter taste in my mouth for UCLA and that department. The real saving grace was my involvement with the UCLA Office of Instructional Development and Judy Mitoma at World Arts & Cultures.

Degrees Earned:

  • M.A. Ethnomusicology 2000
  • Certificate of Philosophy 2002
  • Ph.D. Ethnomusicology 2005

Instructional Technology

In 1998, I began working intensely with instructional technology. Under a U.S. Department of Education Grant called FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education), I was chosen as one of a very few to initiate the push on teaching with technology (as it was called back then) at UCLA. We were part of an special group of educators who were also early adopters of technology. I began designing PowerPoint slides for faculty in 1998. HTML 4.0 was just released and I was one of the few educators who learned the language. In early 1999, I was posting course websites that included audio samples to support courses. By the end of 1999, I had achieved near expert status in a wide variety of software programs. When the FIPSE grant ended, I was hired by UCLA's Department of Instructional Development (OID) to assist the faculty in their

Teaching with Technology CD ROM

Teaching with Technology Workshop on a Disc I did all the programming and user interface for this 2001 CD-ROM published by OID. Not much of an accomplishment these days, but it was ground-breaking back then.

efforts to incorporate technology into their teaching. There, I continued to grow as an instructor and a technologist. I stayed with OID until 2002 when I had to vacate to do field research in Brazil. In 2006, I returned to OID as the Instructional Technologist for the entire campus of UCLA. It was an exciting challenge and I met it head on. I developed a series of training workshops for faculty which focused on teaching technologies and their best practices in the classroom. I also consulted regularly with faculty on designing educational projects that included a technological component. In 2008, I was promoted to Principle Administrative Analyst, while continuing to be the Instructional Technologist for the campus. In 2011, our ruptured economy took away that position and I lost my job.

I was one of the very first to enter the game of educational technology, and in my seventeen-plus years I accomplished some remarkable things of which I remain proud. I know I made a significant difference at UCLA, I helped innumerable people with a wide variety of requests and helped elevate the classroom experience for many students and faculty. I continue to do research in the pedagogical application of technologies and the evaluation of their use.


My goal from the very beginning of my studies was to eventually teach. Not only do I love to share information, I embrace the opportunities to help others grow. I mindfully exercise my role in transferring knowledge to our new generations. I believe in active, versus passive, learning and design my lessons with that in mind. As always, I believe that learning can, and should, be fun!!! I have had numerous teaching experiences in my short career of which I share some highlights here in reverse chronological order.

San Diego State University 2012


In the fall of 2012 I was invited by the Spanish/Portuguese Department of San Diego State University to teach the course "Music and Culture of Brazil." Week by week we explored the genres and musicians that crafted the mosaic of Brazilian music against a socio-historical backdrop. We learned about the music of over 100 artists, dozens of genres, and listened to over 200 songs, and watched numerous DVD clips! It was a smorgasbord of Música Brasileira from colonial times to the hip hop and new artists of 2012. 15 weeks is not enough time!

Student Feedback

"I have studied in 5 Universities; 3 in Mexico, 1 in Brazil and 1 in the USA. I have been to every San Diego Community College except South Western College and I have never seen anyone demonstrate so much passion for what they love. I have to give it to you; you almost make me want to change my major and go in to music but I got one semester to finish and I can't change now!"

"It has truly been an honor being in your class this semester. I enjoyed every second of the overflowing knowledge you possess and shared with us. I wish you all of the best always, the world needs more professors like you, genuine humans."

"First I wanted to thank you for this fun semester. Your class was always fun and interesting. Keep up your teaching methodology. I finally have a professor that does not see students only by grades and numbers, but instead values the individual growth of students. I looked forward each week to absorbing your knowledge."

Global Pop with the Doctor

In 2006, I began teaching as an Adjunct Lecturer in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology. I designed and taught the course: Music of Brazil, Global Pop, and Music and Media. Global Pop and Music and Media were ten-week courses, but Music of Brazil was offered during a six-week summer session. I taught until the department eliminated my position in 2008.


I designed and taught the course Global Pop (Ethnomusicology 25) at UCLA from 2006-2008. The course was a cultural survey of popular music on a global scale and attracted music majors and non-majors alike. The average class size was 140 students. There could have been over 200, but we were working under space constraints. The course was multi-disciplinary using history, sociology, anthropology, geography, communications and economics to explore music making across cultures and time. This course required a lot of listening and reading time and was shored up by a strong writing component. This was an extremely popular course while it lasted.

We explored music from many countries in Africa, the Middle-East, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Pacific and North America. Each class was a multi-media delivery of images, text, music, videos, and web sites. The classes featured an open discussion format which produced some of the course's richest moments.

During this class students learned to:

  • Listen critically to recordings
  • Evaluate musical content
  • Broaden their musical tastes
  • Identify different genres of music
  • Identify sounds with their geographical locations
  • Use a specialized vocabulary of scientific words
  • Write effectively, both about music and in general

Student Feedback

"I just wanted to say a small thank you for everything you've done in this class. Seriously, the website is awesome, and the emails make me smile because you never sound like a teacher, but more like a dad."

"Each session is a learning experience that is comparable to having the scales fall from my eyes on the given topic. It's profound and comprehensive."

"Thank you so much for an amazing class. By far, it is the best I've taken at UCLA!"

"Hi!!! I jus wanted to let you know that you are by far the best professor at UCLA."

"Thanks for being such a wonderful person. There should be more teachers like you at every school, you give students a reason to want to come to class."

"Thank you so much for everything this quarter, your class was absolutely remarkable. You're an amazing professor!"

"You were one of the most energetic and passionate professors I've ever had (and probably will EVER have)! You are truly a priceless and unforgettable professor."

Feedback from a Teaching Assistant: "I just wanted to reiterate how great it was to work with you this quarter -- a serious breath of fresh air in this department. I really respect how you deal with students and it was clear that your teaching and general human presence affected them in a positive way, especially the young dudes. I hope we get to work together again the future."

Global Pop was nominated twice by the students for the campus award for innovative use of technology in teaching and was the featured course, receiving a write-up, in the 2007 UCLA Yearbook Bruinlife.

Music and Media

I designed and taught this course in 2007 at UCLA. it examined the enmeshed relationship between music and media from the 1850s through 2007. As a general elective, this course was open to everyone and we received 120 students and a few auditors.

Technological mediation defines the sonic qualities of music in popular culture. Presently, the majority of music in human life is experienced through some form of technological mediation whether it is the radio, cassette or CD player in the car, the 'walkman,' the 'boom box,' the 'piped in' music at the office, MP3s, the computer, the soundtracks in films, or the sound systems at concerts and clubs. Against a theoretical background, this course explored the ways in which music is mediated to the consumer. The course also examined the growth of the recording industry as a branch of the global communication empires and what that has meant for music production and consumption worldwide.

Sadly, the vast majority of media is owned by a few conglomerates who exercise odd control over the music markets of the world. Aside from that we explored the forces exerted on copyright laws.

Student Feedback

"hi jack, thanks for the awesome class. you made it fun to get up early."

"I never knew things were so convoluted. This course really opened my eyes to things I took for granted."

"Thank you so much for an amazing class. By far, it is the best I've taken at UCLA!"

"Awesome class Jack. I can't believe how much you care. It really shows. I hope I can take your Brazil class this summer."

"Hi Professor, Thanks for a great class. Beyond doubt one of my favorites. I loved the website. If class were not so much fun, I might have been tempted... :)"

"Dear Professor, Thank you so much for the detailed response to my question. Especially since most professors won't take the time. You are a fantastic professor and person. I hope you stay at UCLA."

Music of Brazil

I designed and taught this course during the summer of 2006 and 2007. This course introduced students to the music in Brazil from its colonial period up to the musical developments of the day. After a brief overview of composers and music during the colonial period, the course focused on music genres that have emerged since the late 19th century. Emphasis was placed on the genres of choro, baião, forró, samba, bossa nova, Brazilian popular music (MPB), samba-reggae, mangue, and a few others. No previous knowledge of Brazil or its music was expected. The course was conducted in English with the regular introduction of words and names in Portuguese. When necessary I translated Portuguese resources into English.

The goals of the course were:

  • To introduce students to the sounds of Brazilian music through discussions, videos, listening and reading assignments, and live performances
  • To develop in the students a greater sense of critical listening
  • To introduce concepts related to ethnomusicology and music research
  • To encourage students to consider music as part of its socio-political and historic environment
After taking this course, students were able to identify the different genres of Brazilian Music; have a greater familiarity of Brazil, its geography, culture and its music; and understand how Brazilian music fits into the greater picture of World Music.

Student Feedback

"Hello Jack, thanks for the great class. Could you teach me how to play the girl from ipanema?"

"Wow! I never expected this course to be so much fun! Thank you thank you!"

"Thank you for such an amazing class. It made summer very enjoyable."

"Hi Professor, Fantastic class. I want to go to Brazil now!!"

"Dear Professor, I loved your class, could you recommend some Brazilian music for me to buy?"

Loyola Village Fine & Performing Arts Magnet Center 1999

Introducing "Weird" Cultures to 5th Graders Through Music

As an ArtsBridge Scholar, I was invited to teach world music to two separate fifth grade classes once per week for ten weeks at Loyola (20 sessions). My goals were to have fun while providing the students with a broader world view, and improving their cross cultural understanding. In essence, I was attempting to de-mystify foreign cultures for them through music.

  • The students learned to listen attentively to music and identify its characteristics
  • They learned to identify unfamiliar instruments and understand their cultural significance
  • The students learned a short, specialized vocabulary of words used when speaking about music

At the end of the course, the majority of the students were able to match words like idiophone, ostinato, membranophone, and drone with their meanings. There was also a noticeable absence of the words "weird", "strange" and "funny" when talking about other cultures and music.

The late, great Donald Kachamba teaches Cha Cha Cha Ku Africa to the class

Aside from map lessons, instrument demonstrations, listening to music and watching videos, I wanted the students to get a taste of hands-on playing. So, I invited my friend Donald Kachamba from Malawi to visit the class. He amazed them with stories of Africa and taught them a song called "Cha Cha Cha Ku Africa." Every week thereafter we practiced the song, and on the last day the class performed it.

This experiment was a grand success and demonstrated that negative stereotypes can be overcome with positive exposure. Music was the perfect vehicle to accomplish this goal because it was fun and much of the learning took place subconsciously.

Loyola Feedback

"On behalf of our 5th grade teachers and students, please accept our grateful thanks for placing ArtsBridge Scholar Jack Bishop at our school during the fall. Mr. Bishop's engaging ethnomusicology lessons and instrumental demonstrations offered an invaluable and broadening experience in multi-cultural education." - Principal Gary Domnitz (letter to the ArtsBridge Foundation)"


Published Work

As Author:

As Editor:

  • United States Academic Decathlon Editor of Latin American Music Section, 2006
  • Selected Reports in Ethnomusicology Volume 11 co-edited with Steven Loza, 2002
  • Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology Editor-In-Chief Volume 10, 2002
  • Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology Editor-In-Chief Volume 9, 1999

As Illustrator:

  • 3 illustrations in “Free Flow Energy Conflicted Exchange Form: Formations and Relationships in Afro-Family Musical Cultures of Nigeria and Latin America” by Chuks Iwotor in Musical Cultures of Latin America. California: UCLA Ethnomusicology Publications, 301-308, 2003.

  • 1 map of China; illustration in “Naxi Ancient Music Rocks London”: Validation, Presentation, and Observation in the First International Naxi Music Tour” by Helen Rees in Ethnomusicology 46(3): 433-455, 2002.

  • 2 Maps of China; illustrations in “‘He Yi’an’s Ninety Years’ Biography, History, and Experience in Southwest China” by Helen Rees in The World of Music 43(1): 43-67.

  • 2 Maps of China; illustrations in Echoes of History by Helen Rees, Oxford Press, 2000.

Technical Publications:

  • Teaching with Technology: A Workshop on a Disc. Educational CD-ROM, Steve Rossen, Jack Bishop and Andrew Thomas, UCLA/Office of Instructional Development, 2001.

Unpublished Work:

Thanks For Looking!