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Robert Hartwell, Ed.D.

Music, Media Studies, Honors Instructor

Fine Arts and Communication Division

(650) 949-7016


Foothill campus
Office: 1406
Office Hours:
Monday through Thursday, 9:00-9:50 AM and by appointment


I have been teaching music and media classes at Foothill for more than a decade after many years of teaching piano privately. From the first, classroom teaching was a revelation for me, and indeed I consider myself deeply fortunate to have found this calling. Outside of teaching, my interests are skiing, motorcycle riding, opera, playing the piano, and traveling (I am especially hooked on Manhattan, where I have been spending my summers for the last few years).


Dr. Robert Hartwell is a Professor of Music and Media Studies at Foothill College, where he teaches classes in music history, music of multicultural America, and contemporary American culture. A champion of student-centered curricula, he pioneered Foothill�s coursework in popular culture, which from its inception has ranked among College�s most innovative and sought after classes. He is also keenly interested in issues of teaching and learning, and in 2012 participated in a film project on contemporary teaching practices for Laureate Education.

As part of his commitment to welcoming the uninitiated into classical music, Dr. Hartwell has co-authored a three-volume series on the history of Western music (Great Composers and Music Masterpieces of Western Civilization, Kendall Hunt, 2015) with Foothill colleague Dr. Elizabeth Barkley. He was also a contributory author to The Quarterly Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute and the New Pedagogies in Higher Education series.

Hartwell is also active in the community; he is a regular guest lecturer at the Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, and is a pre-performance lecturer for the San Francisco Opera. Before coming to Foothill College, he taught piano privately for 20 years, and was recognized as among the Bay Area�s best by the San Jose Mercury.

Dr. Hartwell was Foothill�s faculty commencement speaker in 2012, and as a product of the California Community College system, is wholly committed to its egalitarian mission. He holds a B.A. in piano performance from California State University Sonoma, an M.A. in music history from San Francisco State University, and an Ed.D in music education from Columbia University.

Personal Quote:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." (Margaret Mead)

Last update: 2021-05-13
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