Jacob Holster

  • Lecturer, Music Education (instrumental)

206 Music Building I

Jacob Holster


Jacob Holster is a Lecturer of Music Education at Penn State’s School of Music. Holster holds a M.M.E. from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Colorado Boulder. Holster teaches courses in music education and research. Additionally, Dr. Holster supervises preservice music teachers in fieldwork experiences. Holster is also a statistical consultant and teaches courses in R for the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Prior to work in higher education, Holster worked as a band director in North Carolina Public Schools. A North Carolina Teaching Fellow, Holster taught in schools with primarily underrepresented populations. Through these experiences Dr. Holster adopted a student-centered teaching philosophy that is now applied to preservice music teacher preparation, issues of motivation and student retention, and social justice in and beyond the music classroom. Furthermore, Holster is committed to pursue efforts in and out of class experiences to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion for all student perspectives.

At the intersection of Holster’s research and teaching interests are the roles of basic psychological need satisfaction and task valuation as they work in tandem to impact academic motivation. From a Quantitative perspective, Holster has engaged in applications of music self-concept, teaching expertise, Possible-Selves Theory, Self-Determination Theory, and Expectancy Value Theory as they relate to the well-being and motivation of music students of all ages, as well as preservice and in-service music teachers. Holster utilizes natural language processing, a form of artificial intelligence, for Historical and Qualitative content analyses and assessments of student learning in the classroom.