Choral Music Education
California State University, Long Beach
Joshua Palkki is joined the faculty of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach as Assistant Professor of Vocal/Choral Music Education in 2016. He is co-author of Honoring Trans and Gender-Expansive Students in Music Education published in 2021 by Oxford University Press (with Dr. Matthew Garrett, Case Western Reserve University). At CSULB, he teaches courses in music education (including choral repertoire and pedagogy), interfaces with the College of Education, and mentors graduate students in music education. Under his leadership, the University Choir was selected to perform at the 2019 California Choral Directors Association (CCDA) State Conference. In addition to his work at CSULB, Palkki works with South Bay Children’s Choir in Torrance, CA and serves as Director of Choral Music at Los Altos United Methodist Church in Long Beach.
Palkki earned a Ph.D. in music education (choral conducting cognate) from Michigan State University. His dissertation explored the experiences of transgender students in high school choral programs, work which help earn him a university-wide diversity award in and the MSU Council of Graduate Students Disciplinary Leadership Award. During his tenure at MSU, he studied conducting with Dr. Sandra Snow, Dr. Jonathan Reed, and Dr. David Rayl. Dr. Palkki was a finalist in the graduate division of the 2011 American Choral Directors Association national conducting competition while earning a master’s degree in choral conducting at Northern Arizona University with Dr. Edith Copley. In 2011, he was named Outstanding Graduate Student in the NAU School of Music.
An active guest conductor and clinician, Joshua has served on the faculty of both the San José State University (SJSU) Summer in the City Camp and Blue Lake Fine Arts camp. As a guest conductor, he led the Nevada Middle School All-State Choir in 2016, the SCVA SATB Regional Honor Choir in 2017, CCDA Central Region TTBB Honor Choir in 2018, and CCDA Coastal Region SSAA Honor Choir in 2019. He has been contracted to conduct the Kansas All-State Treble Choir in 2025.
While completing his undergraduate degree in vocal/general music education at Ball State University, Joshua was a guest student at SJSU where he studied conducting with Prof. Elena Sharkova and Dr. Charlene Archibeque. Palkki served as choral director at Hoover Middle School and Lincoln High School, two performing arts schools in San José, CA. He also taught choir and handbells at Norwood School in Bethesda, MD.
Joshua has a keen interest in all things Finnish, LGBTQ and gender issues in music education, culturally relevant teaching, and broader issues of music education and social justice. He has presented at state and national research and practitioner conferences including the NAfME National In-Service National Conference, the Society for Music Teacher Education Symposium, and the ACDA National Conference. His writing appears in the Choral Journal, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, Journal of Research in Music Education, Research and Issues in Music Education, Music Education Research, Research Studies in Music Education, and International Journal of Music Education. Palkki has contributed book chapters to Engaging Musical Practices: A Sourcebook for Middle School General Music (Rowman & Littlefield), Routledge Companion of Jazz and Gender (Routledge), and the Choral Conductors Companion (Meredith/Hal Leonard). Joshua currently serves on the editorial board of TOPICS, a practitioner journal published by the May Day Group, New Directions in Music Education, and Contributions to Music Education.
During his tenure at Norwood he prepared a choir to perform in the American Ballet Theatre production of The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center and was selected as a conducting fellow for the 2013 Chorus America Children's/Youth Choir Conducting Master Class in Cincinnati. In 2012, Norwood granted him funds for travel to Kenya, which enabled collaboration with Children of Kibera Foundation (now part of the Kenya Education Foundation) and Red Rose School.