Terry Applebaum
Emeritus Faculty
DME, University of Iowa
MBA, University of Chicago
MM, Northwestern University
BME, Northwestern University

Teaching Statement

I am a musician and a teacher. The two are inseparably bound. My years of performing, practicing and studying have created a pool of artistic experiences and understandings that inform my teaching. Teaching requires me to tap those resources in search of the what?, how? and why? associated with any interpretive or technical choice. Two goals guide my teaching: to instill musical independence and to nurture entrepreneurial thinking. These goals help support the fundamental purpose of my work as a musician and teacher: to preserve the traditional as we explore the new.

Musical independence, or the capacity for students to approach music with their own voice, stands as the cornerstone of my teaching. Independence is not the same as "I feel it." A musical voice develops over many years. Developing a musical voice requires an intensive exposure to diverse musical styles viewed through multiple lenses of performance, analysis, history and understandings of socio‐political factors and of other arts forms. Whether a student works with rudiments, scales and arpeggios; a Bach Sonata; a Max Roach solo or a piece that crosses disciplinary boundaries, each experience adds to the level of awareness of interrelated sensibilities, choices and rationale. My job is to guide students through a process that enables them to make small adjustments or major shifts to a developing a musical voice. Using our multiple lenses, I ask questions that lead students to consider the artistic merits of newly discovered interpretive options. One of these options, of course, may be to affirm what the student originally "felt."

Some of my students desire a career as a professional musician; others want to follow different paths. Irrespective of their goals, musical independence is key, but not enough. In an increasingly changing environment, I place great value on nurturing my students' capacity to think creatively—a characteristic of how entrepreneurs tend to approach challenges. I instill entrepreneurial thinking by supporting my students through a seamless, nonlinear and overlapping cycle: 1.) Identify the big questions or mysteries that can affect the future of music. 2.) Seek options beyond those offered by simple tradeoffs. 3.) Create feasible solutions. 4.) Develop what appear to be the best solutions. 5.) Hone the selected solutions. 6.) Start the cycle anew. 
Fostering musical independence and entrepreneurial thinking go to the heart of my work as a musician and teacher. I feel especially gratified in the knowledge I have contributed to preserving the traditional as we explore the new.


Dr. Terry L. Applebaum is a nationally recognized percussionist, teacher of courses in entrepreneurship, a leader in higher education administration, and a Professor of Music at the University of the Arts. He teaches timpani, mallets and accessory percussion techniques, mallet ensemble, business fundamentals for artist/entrepreneurs, and a music exploration course for non-music majors.

Dr. Applebaum is the faculty facilitator of the UArts School of Music Internship Program. He formerly served as Professor of Percussion at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and Northwestern University. As a professional performer, he was section percussionist and drum set player for concerts, tours and recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago.

The recipient of the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education, he served as Provost at the University of the Arts, Dean of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, and Associate Dean of Music at Northwestern University. Dr. Applebaum holds degrees in Music Education (BME, MM - Northwestern University), Percussion Performance and Pedagogy (DMA - University of Iowa) and Business (MBA - Loyola University Chicago).

Contact Info

Office: Merriam Theater 400
Tel: 215-717-6995
Fax: 215-545-8056