Dr. Brenda Wristen

Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Brenda Wristen is Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy in the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she directs the piano pedagogy and keyboard skills programs. Additionally, she is founder and director of the Community Piano Experience, an outreach program offering beginning and intermediate class piano instruction for adult recreational pianists. She is currently president of Nebraska Music Teachers Association.

Dr. Wristen’s research focuses on musician occupational health issues, with focus areas including university music student health states and behaviors, the biomechanics of piano technique, and addressing the challenges of small-handed pianists. She is co-author, with Dr. Lora Deahl, of the groundbreaking book Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists (Oxford University Press, 2017). She is currently investigating relationships between burnout experience and job condition perceptions among university music faculty. Dr. Wristen’s research articles are published in American Music Teacher, The Piano Magazine, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education, Music Education Research, Clavier, Keyboard Companion, and Piano Pedagogy Forum. Dr. Wristen is a frequent presenter at conferences and meetings of state, national, and international organizations, including Music Teachers National Association, the Performing Arts Medicine Association, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the College Music Society, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the International Society for Music Education. She has presented her work in many other countries, including Italy, Serbia, China, Greece, Scotland, and Finland and her publications have been cited by scholars working in more than one hundred different countries. Dr. Wristen’s research has also been recognized with several awards, most notably the Discoveries and Breakthroughs inside Science award from the Human Ergonomics Society and the American Institute of Physics. Lubbock Christian University named her as its 2019 Distinguished Music Alumna. Her students hold teaching positions throughout the U.S., Asia, Europe, and South America. In addition to her teaching and research activities, Dr. Wristen is an active clinician, adjudicator, and performer. Recent performances include the premiere of Nebraska Songbook by Dr. Gregory Simon and a faculty guest soloist performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor with the UNL Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Wristen earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts with a specialization in piano pedagogy from Texas Tech University, where she was the recipient of the DeWitt/Jones Doctoral Fellowship and a Chancellor’s Fellowship. She received the Master of Music degree from Texas Tech University and the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from Lubbock Christian University. Dr. Wristen is a member of Sigma Xi Research Society and the Alpha Chi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies. Her professional affiliations include Music Teachers National Association, the Performing Arts Medicine Association, The College Music Society, the International Society for Music Education, Nebraska Music Teachers Association, and Lincoln Music Teachers Association.