Matthew Garrett, PhD

Department of Music
College of Arts and Sciences
Director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education
Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Music Education

Matthew L. Garrett, Professor of Music Education, Director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE), and Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Music Education, joined the faculty at Case Western Reserve University in 2009. In the Department of Music, he teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in music education and coordinates the music education licensure program. Garrett has directed UCITE since 2017, drawing on his expansive background in educational pedagogy and over 25 years of classroom teaching experience to help faculty, staff, and students explore the art and science of teaching.

Garrett’s research interests include LGBTQ issues in music education and the development and utilization of critical thinking skills in music classrooms. His most recent publication, Honoring Trans and Gender-Expansive Students in Music Education, with co-author Joshua Palkki was published by Oxford University Press in August 2021. Garrett’s scholarship has been published in Journal of Research in Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, Research Perspectives in Music Education, Choral Journal, TRIAD: The Official Publication of the Ohio Music Education Association, Florida Music Director and Journal of the Society for American Music. He was awarded a W.P. Jones Presidential Faculty Development Award and a Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities Faculty Research Grant to support his scholarship. Garrett received a UCITE Glennan Fellowship to support his instructional work. He has been nominated twice for the CWRU Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. 

Garrett has served on the CWRU lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer-questioning/ally (LGBTQA) Committee and he was a founding member of an interdisciplinary LGBTQ Research Group. He has spoken on the CWRU Power of Diversity Lecture Series and, most recently, on the Social Justice Institute Research Lunch Series. In 2016, he was honored with a CWRU Prism award, for outstanding contributions to the campus LGBTQ community. Garrett is currently chair of the planning committee for the National Symposium for LGBTQ Studies and Music Education.

Garrett has been interviewed regarding his research on developing critical thinking skills for articles in the national music education journal Teaching Music. His strategies for incorporating critical thinking skills in choral rehearsal environments were published as part of a hybrid print/online music text series from Hal Leonard and McGraw Hill Education, Voices in Concert.

Originally from South Carolina, Garrett holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a PhD in Choral Music Education and Conducting from Florida State University. He earned a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Boston University, where he was awarded Music Division Honors in Choral Conducting.

Before joining the Case Western Reserve faculty, Garrett was a music educator in Central Florida and Southeast Massachusetts public schools at the middle and high school levels. While in Boston, he was the conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society Children’s Choruses.

Garrett currently serves as Music Director at The Church of the Covenant, in University Circle. He continues to work with students and teachers in school music and music teacher preparation programs across the country.




Teaching Information

Courses Taught

Choral Methods and Materials
Scholarship in Music Education
Student Teaching
Sociology of Music Education


Choral Music Education and Conducting
Florida State University
Master of Music
Boston University
Bachelor of Music Education
Florida State University