Dr. Bartel is Professor of Music at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music and Director of the Canadian Music Education Research Centre. At the Graduate level he teaches Research Methods, Music and the Brain, Issues in Evaluation, Social Psychology of Music, and at the Undergraduate level he teaches Introduction to Music Education and Alternative Methods in Secondary Music. He also has expertise in vocal technique, violin & viola techniques, and class guitar. With broad interest in music education he is the author or senior editor of 16 books and technical research reports, author of chapters in 11 books, 64 refereed academic papers and publications, and well over a 100 other professional publications and presentations. His current research agenda includes music enjoyment in cochlear implant recipients at Sunnybrook Hospital as well as the implementation of low frequency sound into music and health applications.
Growing up in rural Manitoba in a Mennonite community, he first developed as a self-taught church and folk musician and only began formal instruction in High School. After two years in a Sacred Music Diploma Program, he studied at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the Teacher Education program in 1969 and began teaching at Pierre Radisson Collegiate as a science teacher and music specialist. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Canadian Studies from University of Manitoba. He innovated guitar and alternative music programs, writing a guitar text for Yamaha entitle “Get into Guitar” as well as later writing the guitar curriculum for Manitoba. He also earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University in secondary instrumental music.
With experience as a music teacher at the elementary and high school levels, as a music coordinator in the Morris MacDonald School Division, as a performing choral conductor, singer, violinist, and guitarist, and with 10 years experience in church music in instrumental and choral music, he began teaching at the college and university levels. He first taught guitar and secondary general music at Brandon University and then taught sessional courses in the Bachelor of Education program at University of Manitoba. In 1975 he became Head of the Music Department at Steinbach Bible College and there developed a four-year music degree, a community “conservatory program,” a community concert series, founded the Steinbach Arts Council, and worked actively with the church and music community. All-the-while he studied voice and earned A. Mus. and L. Mus diplomas in vocal performance and a Master of Education degree. During this time from 1975 – 1985 he also worked as Publicity and Promotion director at SBC creating and editing a college newsletter and all publicity materials. In 1986-87 he served as full-time Director of Development doing student recruitment, raising funds, and heading a building program.
In 1984 he began doctoral studies and graduated in 1988 from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He began research on people’s response to music with special focus on emotional and intellectual response and social psychological connections. He served as visiting professor at University of Toronto in 1987 and in 1988 was appointed Assistant Professor. He founded the Canadian Music Education Research Centre in 1989. His involvement in research in music and medicine began in the early 90’s at Bloorview Kid’s Rehab with rehabilitation of attention deficits resulting from head injuries. He also conducted a noteworthy stress study of the 19 professional orchestras in Canada with the Centre for Health Promotion at U of T and has supervised doctoral and post-doctoral research in music therapy at Bloorview Kid’s Rehab, Lyndhurst Hospital, and Baycrest Hospital. Dr. Bartel has served on the Accreditation Review Board for the Canadian Association of Music Therapy. He is the Director of the Sonic B.R.A.I.N. Lab at the U of T. He is also actively involved at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto in perceptual ability diagnosis and music response research with cochlear implant recipients. Within the Canadian Music Education Research Centre, he is the Coordinator of the Music, Mind and Brain Special Research Interest Group, and Coordinator of the Music Therapy and Health Special Research Interest Group within which he recently conducted a health promotion study in the Faculty of Music with a student from the Medical Department.
In 2005 he began work on subsonic structures of music, exploring possible effects of polyrhythmic effects. He began implementing “subsonic architecture” into sound recordings to take advantage of transducer based sound devices in 2006. His current interest is in the health and mood effects of vibro-acoustics.
Drawing on his extensive research background, Dr. Bartel is the scientific designer of the internationally best-selling Music for Your Health series of recordings on the Solitudes label as well as the SonicAid series with Somerset Entertainment. Among the 20 therapy recordings Dr. Bartel has designed are a number of gold and platinum albums and Juno Award nominations. He is also the music consultant on some 70 Fisher Price recordings for children.
Bartel has contributed to the professional music education community through the Canadian Music Educators’ Association since serving as associate editor of the research journal in 1989 and then becoming Editor of the Canadian Journal of Research in Music Education in 1993. In 2000 he became editor of the Canadian Music Educator as well as the CMEA Research to Practice Biennial book series. As Senior Editor of this series he has produced four books: Exploring Social Justice: How Music Education Might Matter. Volume IV (2009) edited by Elizabeth Gould, June Countryman, Charlene Morton and Leslie Stewart Rose; Listen to their voices: Research and Practice in Early Childhood Music. Volume III (2007) Katharine Smithrim & Rena Upitis, Editors; Questioning the Music Education Paradigm. Volume II (2004) Lee Bartel, Editor; and Creativity and Music Education, Volume I (2002) Timothy Sullivan & Lee Willingham, Editors.
Dr. Bartel has worked in the general educational sector as well. Most recently his research with Dr. Linda Cameron on the issue of Homework in Canadian schools has garnered considerable attention. As a result he has worked with the Toronto District School Board and the Simcoe County District School Board on their homework policies. He is currently on the Ontario Ministry of Education grades 7-12 Literacy GAINS initiative to build capacity in literacy leadership within specific disciplines.
Dr. Bartel has worked internationally in various capacities. In 1993, on invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Russia, he present lectures on music and social psychological issues in Moscow. In 1998 he was engaged as an appraiser of the music curriculum in South Africa and also conducted workshops in Cape Province. In 2002 he became Anchor for Research and Evaluation with the Institute for Global Education and worked with UNICEF in a major educational reform project in the countries of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. In 2002, also with UNICEF, he conducted capacity building workshops for the early childhood leaders from education, health, and social service sectors of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.