Dr. John Vitale

John Vitale Photo
Professor / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies - Schulich School of Education
Full-time Faculty
Graduate Program Faculty
Dr. John L. Vitale is a Professor of Education in the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University where he teaches Music Education in the Bachelor of Education Program. He is also a full member of Nipissing University’s Graduate Studies Department in Education where he teaches general "Research Methods" and also supervises a number of student dissertations.
Read more

He has ten years of post-secondary teaching experience in Ontario, and has also taught for both Public and Catholic School Boards in Ontario for 14 years, including 2 years at the elementary level and 12 years at the secondary school level. The majority of his Ontario School Board experience was spent teaching secondary school music (choir, strings, band, guitar, and music technology) where he also served as Department Head of the Arts at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute in Toronto.  

As a bass player, he has over 1200 professional performances to his credit, including national and international festivals, concerts, television shows, and private functions. He has also recorded and toured internationally with Juno Award winner and platinum selling artist Robert Michaels. Other performance credits include playing bass for Juno Award winner and Canadian Idol judge Sass Jordan, Order of Canada Recipient Guido Basso, comedian Joan Rivers, Gemini Award winner Michael Burgess, and over 500 performances with two-time Juno Award winner Liberty Silver. He has also opened up for numerous headlining acts including Neil Sedaka, Don Rickles, The Temptations, and Andy Kim. Compositional credits include the score to award-winning children's animated film Attic-in-the-Blue (first place winner at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival).

BA (Honours), York University
MA, York University
BEd, Brock University
EdD, University of Toronto
Areas of Specialization & Research Interests:

Since Dr. Vitale has spent over 12 years in the secondary school music classroom, it is not surprising that music education lies at the core of his overall research agenda. From a research perspective, Dr. Vitale has identified 6 portals of interest:  

Dr. John L. Vitale - Primary Research Program


In terms of general research methods, Dr. Vitale has extensive experience working with Arts Based Educational Research (particularly A/R/Tography), Narrative Inquiry (screenplays, short stories, fiction as research, etc.), Critical Pedagogies, Alternative Pedagogies, and Holistic Education.

Current & Future Research:

(1) Music Therapy (Connections to Mental Health)

(2) Exploring the Power of Passive Musical Experiences

(3) Generalist Teachers’ Personal Connection to Music

(4) Creative Scholarship (Professionally Performing and Recording Music)

Sample Publications:

Vitale, John L. (in press). Exploring the Fears of Pre-service Generalists in the Music Classroom: An Arts-Based Narrative. In B. Andrews (Editor) Perspectives On Arts Education Research in Canada.

Vitale, John (in press). Using Fred’s Story as an Inspiration to Become Agents of Change The Recorder (Official Journal of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association). 

Vitale, Grace and Vitale, John L. (in press).  Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Treat Video Game Addiction: In D. Gosse (Editor) About Face: Essays on Recovery, Therapies, & Controversies of Addictions in Canada. St. John’s, NL: Breakwater Books. (both authors contributed equally to this chapter)

Vitale, John L. (2017). Exploring The Limitations of Face-to-Face Instruction Through Blogging: An Emergent Exploration in a Teacher Education Program. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, 10(2), pp. 31-41.

Vitale, John L. (2016). Exploring Canzone Napoletana and Southern Italian Migration Through Three Lenses. California Italian Studies, 6(2). ismrg_cisj_27918. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/6bc4642h

Vitale, John L. (2015). Cultivating audiation through holistic early learning: Attainable and sustainable growth for music education. The International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development, 2, pp. 34-44.

Vitale, John L. (2015). Attitudes and perspectives of teacher performers on pedagogy and perceived student learning in the elementary and secondary school music classroom. Canadian Journal of Education. 38(1), pp. 1-27.

Grant, Christina., & Vitale, John L. (2014). Differentiated instruction through digital technologies in the music classroom. In S. A. O’Neill (Series Ed. & Vol. Ed.), Research to Practice: Vol. 6. Music and media infused lives: Music education in a digital age (pp. 161-176). Waterloo, ON: Canadian Music Educators’ Association. (both authors contributed equally to this chapter)

Cho, Christine & Vitale, John L. (2014). Cultivating Student Engagement Through Interactive Art Strategies.  Research Into Practice Series: A research-into-practice series produced by a partnership between the Student Achievement Division and the Ontario Association of Deans of Education (Research Monograph #53), Ontario Ministry of Education (both authors contributed equally to this chapter).

Vitale, John L. (2014). The High School Music Room as a Safe Space and Place. In D. Gosse (Ed.), Out Proud: Stories of Pride, Courage, and Social Justice (pp. 303-309). St. John’s, NL: Breakwater Books.

Vitale, John L. (2013). Visual music: An a/r/tographic screenplay describing the effect of music on film. In Patricia Leavy (Ed.), Fiction as Research: Short Stories, Novellas, and Novels (pp. 147-193). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.