Michael Fanelli

Michael Fanelli, educator, musicologist, author, and bassist, is a Professor of Education Emeritus at the University of Northern Iowa and previously taught double bass at the Universities of Missouri and Illinois, and Grinnell and Stephens Colleges. He studied string pedagogy with Paul Rolland and served on his instructional staff at the University of Illinois Summer Youth Music program and as a research assistant on the Illinois String Research Project. Dr. Fanelli continued string pedagogy studies in graduate programs with Samuel Applebaum, Marvin Rabin, and Thomas Wisniewski.


He began his musical studies on the violin from the ages of six to twelve, at which time he chose to play the double bass. He studied the double bass with Rudolph Faschbender; Warren Benfield and Joseph Guastafeste of the Chicago Symphony; Henry Loew of the Saint Louis Symphony; and Edward Krolick and Michael Cameron at the University of Illinois. He holds degrees in performance, musicology and education.


His dissertation has been cited as a definitive study on Rolland which is used as a primary source on Paul Rolland worldwide. He is currently writing a book, “Paul Rolland: A Creative Life in String Teaching and Pedagogical Inquiry.” He has also transcribed and edited “The Teaching of Action in String Playing” for the double bass. 


He is a recipient of the ISTA Distinguished Service Award, and has presented and published for national and international music organizations and professional journals. He is the one of the co-authors of the Suzuki Bass School texts. In 2013 he authored biographical articles on Paul Rolland for the “The Grove Dictionary of American Music” 2nd edition and “The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians On Line,” both published by Oxford University Press.