Originally from the New Forest in the UK, Bob Burke is an English language specialist, music lecturer, musician and songwriter, with extensive experience of curriculum development and quality assurance within the international Higher Education sector. He has a Master of Research degree in Musicology from the University of Southampton (UK), and a Master’s degree in English Language Teaching from University of Sussex (UK).
During a 14-year tenure at Solent University in Southampton, he lectured at universities, conservatories and institutes across Europe, specializing in songwriting, composition, ensemble performance, popular music history, music theory, listening skills, and academic English. In this time, he worked as a regular visiting lecturer at the Norwegian Academy of Music (NO), Cork School of Music (IE), the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (London, UK), Microfusa (ES), the Deutsche Pop Akademie (DE), Lahti University of Applied Sciences (FI) and Hogeschool Utrecht (NL). He also headed the team which developed institutional partnerships, progression agreements, and language support routes between Solent University and a range of colleges and institutions across Europe, allowing international students to plan a path to a UK bachelor’s degree through study in a combination of countries.
Burke also has a musical profile as an international recording and touring artist, performing and composing with a range of ensembles including contemporary-folk outfits Tinderbox and Dandelion Charm, folk-jazz improvisation project the F&R Trio, intercultural collaboration Across Horizons, experimental-crossover ensemble BUCA, and Gambian kora-griot, Sura Susso. His production credits include Tinderbox’s ‘All Grown Up’, Lou Brown’s ‘What are You Singing About?’, Victor Chetcuti’s ‘Something Else’ and his own 2008 album ‘Shadow of Mercury’. He has also curated a range of community music projects in the UK, including the London Olympiad’s celebration of the New Forest, ‘Songs for Wild Horses’ (a community ‘songscape’ based on Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree); and ‘Like Breathing’, a suite of audio-visual poems with filmmaker Gabi Oda, which were screened at Worthing Film Festival in 2019.
As an English language teacher, Burke brings together his passion for communication, personal expression, and cultural identity, through a range of pedagogical approaches including CLIL (content-language integrated learning), EAP (English for Academic Purposes), creative outputs including songwriting and poetry, and critical research skills. At Tianjin Juilliard, he heads an English team which is proud to be developing the unique ‘English for Musical Purposes’ curriculum for students.