Peter A. McAllister

Peter A McAllister profile photo
College of Arts and Letters
Music, Theatre & Dance
Office Location: MUS 131
Phone: 323-343-4060 Email:


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Under Dr. Peter McAllister’s leadership as Dean, the College of Arts & Letters at Cal State LA successfully grew its enrollment, mounted high-quality general education programming in the humanities, opened the state-of the-art TV, Film, & Media Center, and became a GRAMMY Museum Educational Affiliate. Dr. McAllister created many alliances with media industries and worked with faculty to help launch a new M.F.A. in Creative Media and a degree completion B.A. in Liberal Studies for the Downtown LA (DTLA) campus. He was on leave July 2016 to January 2017, to work on his research focusing on individual/group motivation theories and educational media technologies, among other projects. Dr. McAllister joined the Department of Music, Theatre & Dance as a Professor of Music Education this Spring 2017 semester, where he is leading the NASM Steering Committee in preparation for the next 10-year music accreditation cycle.


As an artist and scholar, Peter McAllister has recorded professionally, with one release as a Columbia Record-of-the-Month selection. As a classical guitarist, he has premiered over 30 new works. The Washington Post called his playing “virtuosic brilliance…gifted.” In music education, he has co-edited 11 books, presented over 40 research papers, and served on the Music Educators Journal editorial committee for 4 years. He has chaired the Music Education National Conference (MENC) Cognition and Perception Special Research Interest Group, and served on the National Advisory Research Board for the Technology Institute for Music Educators (TIME).


​McAllister currently serves on the international AVID Educational Advisory Board, LA's BEST Advisory Board After School Arts Program for the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD), and as an accreditation site visitation chair for the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).


Dean, College of Arts & Letters, California State University Los Angeles (2011-2016)


Opening ceremony for new TV Film and Media Center building at Cal State LA in 2014​ 

Director, School of Music, University of Arizona (2005-2011)

  • President’s Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee member for 5 years
  • Tucson Symphony Orchestra Board member​
  • ​Held the first-ever Music & Medicine Symposium

Director/Interim Director, School of Music, Ball State University (2002-2005)

  • Became an "All Steinway" School
  • Opened a new $21M Music Instruction building


Dr. McAllister has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Kent State University, the University of Arizona, Ball State University and other institutions. Course titles include the Psychology of Music, Curriculum and Administration, Career Development, Computer Applications in Music Classrooms, and Teacher Training Pedagogy & Technology. Teaching successes have included numerous students being accepted at top graduate programs in the United States, and hired by institutions such as Mississippi State University, Butler University, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Indiana Wesleyan University, Long Island University, and Northern Michigan University, among many others.


Research interests include individual and group motivation theories, and efficacies of educational technologies in the arts.


Google Scholar author page for Peter McAllister – over 250 citations of his published research!

Several years ago, McAllister served as one of the readers/reviewers of the Policy Brief on Creation, Performance and Research published by The Council of Arts Accrediting Associations (CAAS). NASM and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) are members of CAAS. Download the PDF here:




Kent State University, Ph.D. in Music Education (1995)

​University of Toronto, Bachelor of Music in Performance (1991)


​Harvard University, Institute for Management and Leadership in Education Certificate, Graduate School of Education (2014)

​University of Cincinnati, Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Certification Level I, College Conservatory of Music (1995)



Daniel Katzen and Peter McAllister at new Cal State LA TV Film & Media Center

Daniel Katzen visits with Peter McAllister at the TV Film & Media Center building at Cal State LA. Katzen performed for decades with the Boston Pops Orchestra and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra before being hired by McAllister as the Horn Professor at the University of Arizona. Katzen was instrumental in landing the $20M naming gift for the UA Fred Fox School of Music.