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Robert Gillespie is an active violinist, conductor, researcher, and string clinician and is responsible for teacher training in the Ohio State University School of Music. He is founder and music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Junior Strings Youth Orchestra and director of the annual OSU Midwest Summer String Teacher Conference. His diagnostic string teacher training video programs are available through ASTA and his articles have appeared in many journals, including The Journal of Research in Music Education, Contributions to Music Education, and American String Teacher. He is coauthor of the Hal Leonard comprehensive string method series Essential Elements for Strings, a textbook series used in 70 percent of school orchestra programs in the United States, with more than one million copies sold.
At Ohio State, he teaches courses in string methods, rehearsal skills, string pedagogy, and the history of music education. Gillespie has served as clinician, consultant, and orchestra conductor in 39 states and in Germany, Canada, Austria, and Switzerland. He was named Ohio String Teacher of the Year in 1997.