Dr. Rolf Groesbeck is a professor of music known amongst students and peers for his enthusiastic and effective teaching style.
Groesbeck is an ethnomusicologist, a highly interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes the study of music in its cultural context. He is an active performer in several areas including jazz, classical, and popular music. Groesbeck combines musical performance with complex musical concepts, a style so unique faculty and students have coined it the “Groesbeck lecture.” This could mean breaking down a classical symphony by playing individual parts on the piano or rhythmically demonstrating parts of a piece to encourage classroom discussion.
Groesbeck is engaging and connects with students using multiple methods. This enhances student learning and retention. This is reflected in his students’ performance on PRAXIS exams that Music Education majors must pass to graduate and obtain employment. The national exam is notoriously difficult, and the overall Arkansas success rate is below 30 percent. In contrast, a high percentage of UA Little Rock’s Music Education students pass the placement test in music history, in large part because of Groesbeck’s teaching methods.
Groesbeck is also a highly versatile teacher. He teaches Music History I and II and the Creative Arts course for the Donaghey Scholars program. He created and taught courses in America Music and Non-Western Music and founded the Indian Percussion Ensemble which performs across the state and region.
Groesbeck received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Music/Urban Ethnomusicology from New York University, a B.A. in Music and a B.M. in Music History and Piano from Oberlin College.