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Home / Member / Dr. Sheila Woodward
Previous President of ISME

Dr. Sheila Woodward is Professor of Music and Director of Music Education at Eastern Washington University, USA. She previously served as President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) and is currently President of the International Music Council (IMC). She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Popular Music Education and previously served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Music Education. She is a native of South Africa and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town and a Performer’s Licentiate in Organ from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She previously taught at the University of Southern California, the University of South Florida, and the University of the Western Cape. Dr. Woodward has previously served on numerous professional boards; among them being three terms on the IMC Executive Board (2017-2023), five terms on the ISME Board of Directors (2004-2008 and 2012-2016), three terms on the ISME Early Childhood Music Education Commission (1992-1998, two as Chair), two terms on the NAfME Council for IN-ovations (2012-2014, one as Chair), and two terms on the NAfME Executive Board of the Society for General Music (2002-2006). Dr. Woodward’s research focus is Music and Wellbeing. She explores this from before birth to adulthood, with studies on the fetus, neonate, premature infant, young child, at-risk youth, juvenile offender and adult musician. She has published numerous articles, in addition to chapters in Welch et al.'s The Oxford Handbook of Singing (2019), Benedict et al.’s The Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education (2015) and in Malloch and Trevarthen’s Communicative musicality: Narratives of expressive gesture and being human (Oxford University Press, 2009). Dr. Woodward has been awarded generous grants to promote international exchange programs, bringing South African musicians to perform in the USA alongside students and professors. She has directed numerous developmental outreach programs in both countries and has played an active role in developing the Music for All program in the Republic of Sakha.