USF Music Education Doctoral Student Adrian Iordache Wins Fulbright to Study in Romania

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

USF music education doctoral student Adrian Iordache has earned the Fulbright US Student Research Award to study a particular group of professional musicians in Romania, many of whom lack a formal music training yet have a high level of musicianship.

By immersing himself in the lives of these musicians, Iordache hopes to uncover the secrets of their training and to find what makes these musicians so creative and effective as musicians.

“I hope that by the end of my research there, I will be able to identify what is in their training that helps them so much,” said Iordache. “Their virtuosity, their playing abilities are unbelievably high. What helps them create music so easily? What helps them play with anybody, any style?”

In his proposal, Iordache writes that creativity improves musical expressivity, improvisation, and composition skill—areas where these Romanian musicians excel. He describes the musicians as being able to quickly adapt to new styles and ensembles. During traditional Romanian weddings, they can be called upon to perform over the course of three days. They play from memory or improvise when they perform as they do not read music.

Creativity is central to their practice and the practice of music education. Creativity makes better musicians, but it also has more far reaching effects.

“Being creative has a far transfer effect on your cognitive abilities,” said Iordache. “If you’re creative at one thing, most likely that you’re creative at anything. That’s why it’s important. We encourage students to become more creative.” 

Iordache hopes that by uncovering what helps the Romanian musicians develop their creativity, he can merge this knowledge with the practice of music education in the United States and other countries.

Iordache’s research comes at a time when the number of Romanian musicians is declining. Some pursue different professions and do not pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

“There is a decreasing number of musicians who are still passing their craft to their children,” writes Iordache in his research proposal, “and it is very likely that the current musicians are the last generation who have the knowledge and skills to carry on this specific, authentic musical learning tradition.” 

Iordache was born, raised, and lived in Romania. Before enrolling at USF in 2017, Iordache taught public school for 13 years in New Jersey. He formerly served as a trombonist at the Romanian National Opera. His predominant research interest is in the continuous improvement of teaching methods for a continuous improvement of student outcomes.

Iordache will begin his nine-month study in Romania in October 2019.