All Press Releases for November 30, 2022

Dr. Billie Ray Worthington Erlings Recognized by Marquis Who's Who for Excellence in Music Education

Dr. Erlings is Professor Emerita of Music from the University of Arizona School of Music

    ASHLAND, OR, November 30, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Dr. Billie Raye Worthington Erlings has been elected to the Marquis Who's Who in America publication in 2022-2023. She is one of the first women in the nation to hold the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, awarded by the University of Oregon in 1970. She is Professor Emerita of Music from the University of Arizona School of Music where she served on the piano faculty as Coordinator of Class/Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy from 1974-1998. There she also developed the Electronic Piano Multimedia Laboratory which was one of the foremost in the nation. She received the University of Arizona Outstanding Faculty of 1990 Award.

Holding Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with piano performance majors from her home state alma mater, Louisiana State University, her other faculty positions were at the University of Kansas, California State at Los Angeles, Southern Oregon University (SOC), the University of Oregon, and Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

For decades Dr. Erlings has been recognized internationally as a leading innovator in music study through piano, as well as for research in psychomotor skill acquisition, aesthetic valuing, and curriculum development in piano studies for non-keyboard music majors and general university students. Her first international presentation in Dijon, France in 1968 introduced her pioneering televised piano course, developed at the University of Oregon School of Music and Broadcast Division. (1966-1967). Her doctoral dissertation details her creative work in the medium.

On the faculty at the University of Kansas, Dr. Erlings was chosen by the late Dr. E. Thayer Gaston to develop the keyboard components of the Music Therapy degrees he introduced to the nation. At California State Los Angeles in the early 1960s, she was challenged to incorporate the newly invented electronic piano laboratory into her teaching. She continued throughout her career to explore and adapt new technologies to update and streamline music learning.

In addition to both individual and group piano and pedagogy, Dr. Erlings taught university courses in music theory, music appreciation, form and analysis, graduate research in music and graduate music history. At the University of Arizona in 1985 she initiated a new music course, Piano for General Students, a three-unit course that met all University General Education requirements and was accepted in all two- and four-year state institutions for transfer credit. From the time of its inception until Dr. Erlings' retirement in 1998, the course--which was offered each semester-- had a continuous two-year waiting list. Her article Recapturing the Young Adult in General Music describes the course and how it offers an alternative to the large Music Appreciation courses that the profession often cited as unsuccessful.

Dr. Erlings has conducted workshops throughout the United States and in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Holland and Korea. She has published articles in The Piano Quarterly, Clavier, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, The College Music Society Proceedings, Televised Music Instruction, Southwestern Musician, and Arizona Music News. Her first published piano books Comprehensive Keyboard Skills (1975) introduced many influential innovations. In 1993 she published 24 Karat®Piano and 24 Karat® Keyboard which incorporate her unique superlearning approach to music through piano. The former book is now in a third edition, eleventh print run. In 2021 she and co-producer Nicholas Z. Brandt released Dr. Erlings' Notes: A Piano Video Course as Companion to 24 Karat® Piano.

At the University of Arizona Dr. Erlings continued activity in faculty governance. She was elected to the Faculty Senate as Senator at Large, a Member of the Committee of Eleven (1997-2000) which was advisory to the University President, and Member of the Shared Governance Review Committee (1998-2000). She was appointed by the University Provost to the Advisory Committee on Sabbatical Leaves, serving as Secretary 1984-1985 and Chair 1985-1986. She was appointed to the Graduate College Committee which conducted all dissertation defenses and preliminary examinations, 1979-1983; 1986.

Throughout her career, Billie Raye has taught children individually and in special group projects such as for the Tucson Symphony Women's League and Tucson Parks and Recreation. She had students from the Oregon School for the Blind and the Arizona School for the Blind in Tucson. She was selected by the National Institute for Education of Exceptional Children as Keyboard Specialist for a regional workshop on development of skills-programs for the exceptional child. Eugene, Oregon 1968. Dr. Erlings had private studios in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Lawrence, Kansas; Burbank and Toluca Lake, California and Ashland, Oregon.

Billie Raye is owner-president of 24 Karat® Music Discovery, a company she and her late husband Kurt Erlings incorporated in 1983 in Arizona to manage and promote her intellectual properties and publish her educational materials. In year 2000 they moved the company and their piano and production studios to Ashland, Oregon, an art center of the nation. Billie Raye has both in-person and distance-learning students and continues to produce superlearning materials.

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