Ben Geyer, Ph.D.

I got my first taste of teaching in middle school, when my choir director asked me (the designated piano player) to run sectionals, and I'm still ignited by helping other people get better at making music. I've taught kids (as young as five), amateur adults, and professional musicians.

In recent years, much of my attention has been devoted to issues of equity in music instruction. I am proud that the Music Program places virtually all of our music education graduates in teaching jobs, and they shape the P-12 education landscape in the West Georgia region. My vision is to prepare each new generation of teachers to honor all kinds of music, musical creators, and musical approaches. The centerpiece of this work is my free textbook, Music Theory in Mind and Culture, (2021) which has been used at DePauw University, the University of New Hampshire, Arizona State University, and Ithaca College, the University of Connecticut, the University of Michigan, and others. You can access MTMC at my website, www.bengeyer.com/teacher. I hope MTMC can offer both a model for how a more equitable music theory curriculum might be designed, and the practical materials required to implement it.

 I got my Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Kentucky, with a dissertation was "Meter, Phrase, and Form in the Compositions of Maria Schneider." I developed a chapter from this project into "Maria Schneider's Forms: Norms and Deviations in a Contemporary Jazz Corpus," which the Journal of Music Theory awarded the David Krahenbuehl Prize for the best article written by an untenured scholar in 2018-2019. I also published "A Theory of Jazz Performance Practice" as part of the A-R Editions Online Music Anthology, introducing a somewhat novel way of thinking about how jazz musicians improvise within the structure of a tune. I have an essay forthcoming in Expanding the Canon: Black Composers in the Music Theory Classroom.

I've delivered numerous conference papers on topics like microrhythm, jazz harmony, and methodological issues. And I've been invited to share my research on both Maria Schneider’s music and music theory pedagogy in virtual talks at the University of North Texas Division of Jazz Studies, Wheaton College, and the University of South Carolina.

I've been playing the piano since I was eight, and I've worked for years in jazz, pop, and classical settings. I have a Bachelor's of Music in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and a Master's of Music in Jazz Studies from Purchase College (SUNY), where I studied with the legendary jazz pianist and revolutionary pedagogue, Hal Galper. My two independent and self-produced albums are The Narrative (Ben Geyer Sextet, 2010) and The Acadian Orogeny from (Ben Geyer Trio, 2018). All About Jazz called my latest album "a musical statement of depth and perpetuity." I've performed in professional settings with musicians including Winard Harper, Barry Ries, Avery Sharpe, Marion Cowings, Peter Dominguez, Terence Harper, Ian Froman, Neil Starkey, Adison Evans, Michael Feinberg, and Andre Rice. And I've performed at venues in New York (Kitano, Cutting Room, Tea Lounge), Shanghai (JZ Club), Cleveland (Bop Stop), Boston (Lily Pad, Middle East), and Atlanta (Velvet note, Café 290).

  • B.M., Bachelor of Music in Studio Music and Jazz, University of Miami, 2007
  • M.M., Master of Music in Jazz Studies, Purchase College (SUNY), 2009
  • Ph.D., Ph.D. in Music Theory, University of Kentucky, 2016

Fall 2022 Sections

Spring 2022 Sections

Fall 2021 Sections

Spring 2021 Sections

Fall 2020 Sections

Spring 2020 Sections

  • MUSC-1302 (Music Theory II) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2302 (Music Theory IV) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4300 (Jazz History and Styles) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4311 (Appl Jazz Comp and Arranging) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4321 (Applied Jazz Improvisation) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4943 (Jazz Recital) Section: 01

Fall 2019 Sections

  • MUSC-1301 (Music Theory I) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2301 (Music Theory III) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4311 (Appl Jazz Comp and Arranging) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4321 (Applied Jazz Improvisation) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4800O (Small Ensemble: Jazz Combo) Section: 01

Spring 2019 Sections

  • MUSC-1302 (Music Theory II) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2302 (Music Theory IV) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4311 (Appl Jazz Comp and Arranging) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4321 (Applied Jazz Improvisation) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01

Fall 2018 Sections

  • MUSC-1301 (Music Theory I) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2301 (Music Theory III) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4311 (Appl Jazz Comp and Arranging) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4321 (Applied Jazz Improvisation) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01

Spring 2018 Sections

  • MUSC-1302 (Music Theory II) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2302 (Music Theory IV) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4321 (Applied Jazz Improvisation) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4943 (Jazz Recital) Section: 01

Fall 2017 Sections

  • MUSC-1301 (Music Theory I) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2301 (Music Theory III) Section: 01
  • MUSC-2730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4311 (Appl Jazz Comp and Arranging) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4321 (Applied Jazz Improvisation) Section: 01
  • MUSC-4730 (Jazz Ensemble) Section: 01