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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Gail V. Barnes

Title: Professor / Music Education
School of Music
Phone: 803-777-3389

School of Music Room 319


USC String Project
Music Education



Dr. Barnes is professor of Music Education and Director of the USC String Project. She received her BM and MM from the University of Michigan and her PhD from the Ohio State University. Prior to being appointed to the University of South Carolina School of Music faculty, she was an orchestra teacher in the Norfolk Public Schools (Virginia). 


Dr. Barnes teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in stringed instrument methods and orchestra literature. She also teaches graduate courses in various topics such as Introduction to Research in Music Education, Sociology of Music Education and Orchestra Literature. 


Dr. Barnes research interests include community and school orchestra programs and access to music education for under-served youth. She is a co-author of Measures of Success for String Orchestra (published by The FJH Music Company). In 2019, she received the Career Researcher Award for the American String Teachers Association. 

Professional Service

Dr. Barnes has served on the national board of the American String Teachers Association and the editorial boards of the Journal of Music Teacher Education and the String Research Journal.

Professional Practice

Dr. Barnes continues to teach and conduct student-aged musicians as part of her role as Director of the USC String Project. In addition, she has conducted All-State Orchestras in Florida, Georgia, Michigan and South Carolina. She has presented conference sessions through the United States and overseas (Italy, China, Greece, Scotland and Brazil). 

Selected Research Articles

Barnes, G.V., DeFreitas, A. & Grego, J. (2016) Parental Involvement and Home Environment in Music: Current and Former Students from Selected Community Music Programs in Brazil and the United States. International Journal of Music Education. 

Pope, D. A. & Barnes, G. V. (2016) Influence of education, performance level, and presentation medium on evaluations of string orchestra performances. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education

Palmquist, J. E. & Barnes, G. V. (2015). Participation in the school orchestra and string teachers facebook v2 group: an online community of practice. International Journal of Community Music, 8 (1). 23-31. doi: 10.1386/ijcm.8.1.93_1 

Barnes, G. V. (2013) The University of South Carolina String Project: Teaching and learning within a community music programme. International Journal of Community Music, 6 (1). 23-31.

Barnes, G. V. (2012). Research to practice: Collaborating for our greater good. String Research Journal.

Barnes, G. V. (2010). Teaching music: The first year. Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, 185. 63-76.

Barnes, G. V. (2010). Publish and flourish. American String Teacher, 60 (3), 112.

Barnes, G. (2008). Challenging the middle school orchestra musician. American String Teacher, 58 (3) 38-41.

Smith, B. and Barnes, G.V. (Fall 2007). Development and validation of an orchestra performance rating scale. Journal of Research in Music Education, 55 (3),268-280.

Barnes, G.V. and McCashin, R. (2005). Practices and procedures for adjudicated orchestra festivals, Update, 23 (2), 34-41.

Barnes, G.V. (2004). Applying Research to the Studio and Classroom. American String Teacher, 54 (4), 46-48.

Reprint Zdzinski, S and Barnes, G.V. (2003). Development and Validation of a String Performance Rating Scale, The Academic Periodical of Shenyang Conservatory of Music (THE NEW VOICE OF YUE-FU QUARTERLY) NO.4.

Zdzinski, S. and Barnes, G.V. (2002). Development and Validation of a String Performance Rating Scale, Journal of Research in Music Education. 50 (3), 244-255.

Barnes, G. V.(2002). National Board Certification, A Validation of String and Orchestra Teachers’ Skills. American String Teacher, 52 (3), 70-75.

Barnes, G.V. and McCashin, R. (2002). All-State Orchestras, A Survey of Practices and Procedures. Update: Applications of Research, 20 (2), 16-20.

Barnes, G.V. (2001).Opportunities in Service Learning. Music Educators Journal, 88 (4), 42-46.

Barnes, G. (2000). Success (or Survival!) Stories of High School Block Scheduling. American String Teacher, 50 (1), 80-83.

Barnes, G. (2000). A Comparison of Self-Efficacy and Teaching Effectiveness in Preservice String Teachers, Journal of String Research, 1, 37-57.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.