David Gabriel Hebert

Field of work

David G. Hebert, PhD has held a tenured appointment since 2011 as the first full Professor of Music Education in Bergen, a city known as the “gateway to the fjords” and birthplace of composer Edvard Grieg. Dr. Hebert works full-time for Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, where he leads the Grieg Academy Music Education (GAME) research group, and is manager of the Nordic Network for Music Education, a Nordplus state-funded organization that coordinates Master classes and exchange of teachers and students across eight Northern European nations. An ethnomusicologist and comparative education researcher, he is also Honorary Professor with the Education University of Hong Kong and Affiliated Professor with University of the Faroe Islands. Professor Hebert is a Board Member of the International Society for Music Education, and Chair of its History Standing Committee. He was also a founder and leader of the Historical Ethnomusicology section of the Society for Ethnomusicology (of which he is a Life member). He recently was a keynote speaker for Kenya’s 1st TUK Arts Education Postgraduate Symposium, China's National Conference on Music and Arts Education, the German-Dutch Colloquium on Research in Arts Education, and the East African Teacher Education Symposium (video linked here). As a musician, his latest project is the Sympathetic Resonance Trio

In Bergen, Dr. Hebert mostly teaches for the music Master programs and the education PhD program, as well as Global Challenges doctoral courses in cultural heritage and higher education at Bergen Summer Research School. He developed and leads a new PhD course in Bergen, PhD911: Non-Western Educational Philosophy and Policy. He is a widely published and cited researcher (h-index: 20), who worked for universities on five continents before moving to Norway (e.g. Boston University, Sibelius Academy-University of the Arts, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Moscow State University, Yamanashi Gakuin University, University of Southern Mississippi, Tokyo Gakugei University, etc.). Dr. Hebert consistently receives high evaluations of his teaching, having given lectures for over 85 institutions worldwide. He has served on doctoral supervisory committees for universities in 15 countries, and has directed research projects on each inhabited continent, with published outcomes (in Japan and China, the USA, Finland, New Zealand, Ghana, and Guyana). For University of Bergen, he is teaching for a fourth year in the university-wide professional development course on Doctoral Supervision, and is External Evaluator for the 5-year Master program in Music Therapy (2021-2025).

As part of the CABUTE project, he has Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norad) funding to develop a music PhD program in Uganda (2021-2026), and mentors PhD and Master students at Makerere and Kyambogo universities. With a grant from the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (2023-2026), he is leading the COIL project Global Competence Partnership for collaboration in doctoral studies and faculty development (university pedagogy) with the Education University of Hong Kong. He has recently managed Bergen’s role as the academic partner in the EU's Erasmus Plus-funded project Music Talks with music schools and youth NGOs in Latvia and North Macedonia. His GAME research group is also involved in the EU’s RESUPERES project on resilience in higher education and the EarlyMuse COST Action on early music heritage. For Rowman & Littlefield press, he is co-Editor of Deep Soundings: The Lexington Series in Historical Ethnomusicology. From Autumn 2022, as part of the MusiPæd Project of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, he is researching the pedagogies of musical instrument teachers at the Voksenåsen Music Academies. He is also a member of the Nordforsk-funded project “Singing Maps,” managed by David Johnson

Hebert has served on several editorial boards, including various professional journals: Arts Education Policy ReviewInternational Journal of Music EducationMusic Education ResearchJournal of Popular Music EducationAction, Criticism and Theory for Music Education, and others. He is now on the Editorial Board of the ISME Routledge book series. He was Guest Editor for an Asian Educational Philosophy special issue of the Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education, and for a Technology special issue of Arts Education Policy Review, and has professionally reviewed book proposals and drafts for more than 10 academic presses. In addition to the Board of the International Society for Music Education, he also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Grieg Research School in Interdisciplinary Music Studies (GRS) and the pan-European Teacher Education Academy for Music (TEAM), as well as the steering group for a new Voksenåsen Music Academies initiative to promote interdisciplinary music research across the Nordic countries.  

Since accepting the position in Norway, he has authored and edited several books, and contributed chapters to 20 other books, proceedings and encyclopedias, as well as articles in 35 different professional journals. Reviews of his books are published in over 15 scholarly journals in the fields of musicology, education, and Asian studies, and he authors a professional blog viewed by over 400,000 readers across the past decade. Prof. Hebert's ten published books - as author, editor, or co-editor - include: Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools (2012, Springer; Japanese version forthcoming on Artes Publishing), Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education (2012, Ashgate; 2016, Routledge), Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology (2014, Rowman & Littlefield), International Perspectives on Translation, Education, and Innovation in Japanese and Korean Societies (2018, Springer), Music Glocalization: Heritage and Innovation in a Digital Age (2018, Cambridge Scholars), Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe (Routledge, 2019), World Music Pedagogy VII: Teaching World Music in Higher Education (Routledge, 2021), Ethnomusicology and Cultural Diplomacy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022), Comparative and Decolonial Studies in Philosophy of Education (Springer, 2023), and Shared Listenings: Methods for Transcultural Musicianship and Research (Cambridge University Press, 2023). Additionally, he recently co-developed an edited volume called Perspectives on Music, Education, and Diversity (Springer, in press), and is now at work to complete a book co-authored with Jiaxing Xie, A Philosophy of Music Education for the Era of AI: A Dialogue Between Chinese and Western Perspectives (Routledge, forthcoming). He has contributed to such reference works as Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education, Sociology and Music Education, SAGE Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, Cambridge Encyclopedia of Brass Instruments, Handbook of Japanese Music in the Modern Era, and Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning.

For nearly a decade he frequently collaborated with the Chinese Music Research Institute of China Conservatory, Beijing, where with professor Jiaxing Xie he contributed to development of the largest online higher education music consortium (200+ institutions), Huaxia Yuefu/Open Global Music Academy. He has lectured for 12 universities in China, and teaches an intensive course on Arts Policy for law students at China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing. Dr. Hebert recently served for three years as Visiting Professor for Lund University (Malmo Academy of Music), where he advised PhD dissertations and participated in an ethnomusicology research project in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. He was also a Hanban Visiting Scholar with the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing, China), a Nichibunken Visiting Research Scholar with the National Institutes for the Humanities (Kyoto, Japan), and a CNPq Visiting Professor with the music doctoral programs at Federal University of Rio Grande du Sol (Porto Alegre, Brazil). 

He has also served as External Reviewer for the Doctor of Education degree program with the highest-ranked education faculty in East Asia, Education University of Hong Kong. Prof. Hebert has been a Keynote Lecturer for conferences in Europe (Germany, Norway, Poland, Estonia, and Sweden), Asia (Thailand, Uzbekistan, China), and Africa (Tanzania, Uganda), and Chair of two arts sessions at the XVIII World Congress of Sociology (Yokohama) and two sessions at the 33rd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (Baku). In addition to academic research, he has worked as a trumpeter, conductor, and songwriter. An occasional member of the professional Edvard Grieg Choir, he has performed concerts as a classical bass baritone singer with the Bergen National Opera (2014 & 2015), Bergen Philharmonic (2015), Berlin Philharmonic (2013), and as a solo recitalist.

Courses taught
  • Research Methods (Master and PhD programs)
  • University Pedagogy / Higher Education
  • Ethnomusicology and Sociology of Music
  • Conducting and Ensemble Leadership (teaching practicum)
  • Non-Western Educational Philosophy
  • Cultural Policy
Research areas
  • Music Education
  • International-Comparative Education / Higher Education
  • Distance Education and Music Technologies
  • Ethnomusicology and Sociology of Music
  • East Asian Studies
  • Cultural Policy
Research groups

Selected publications

  • Presentation, “Visions of Music Decolonization in Three Recent Books,” Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department 40-Year Jubilee Symposium: Folk Music, Memory Institutions and the Politics and Practices of Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, University of the Arts Helsinki (February 9, 2024).

    Hebert, David Gabriel (2024)
  • Keynote speaker, “Resilience and Flexibility: Essential Characteristics of Effective Music Teachers,” Roundtable Forum “International Insights into Music Education Talent Development,” national academic symposium Global Perspectives Toward Talent Development in Music Education, Beijing Normal University (January 5, 2024).

    Hebert, David Gabriel (2024)
  • Invited Presenter, “Panel Discussion: Decolonisation of Academia”, event hosted by SAIH, the Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund, as part of International Week, University of Bergen. Moderator: Morgan Alangeh. Panelists: Anwesha Dutta, Carmeliza Soares da Costa Rosário, Lise Rakner, Wesley Maraire, and David G. Hebert (October 23, 2023).

    Hebert, David Gabriel (2023)
  • Keynote speaker, “Recent Developments in Arts Diplomacy and Arts Education Policies,” for conference Traditional, Ethnic, Global: International Perspectives on Higher Education in Fine Arts and Traditional Arts Forum, China University of Political Science and Law (October 30, 2023) [online presentation].

    Hebert, David Gabriel (2023)
  • Learning of Musical Instruments in Japanese Schools

    Hebert, David Gabriel, Matsunobu, Koji (2023)