Matthew Garrett, PhD

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

Matthew L. Garrett, Professor of Music Education and Director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE), joined the faculty at Case Western Reserve University in 2009. In the Department of Music, he teaches graduate music education students and facilitates student teaching seminars with licensure students. 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 research interests focus primarily on LGBTQ issues in music education. In his 2021 book with co-author Joshua Palkki, Honoring Trans and Gender-Expansive [TGE] Students in Music Education, Garrett encouraged music educators to honor gender diverse persons through ethically and pedagogically sound practices by highlighting the narratives and experiences of TGE musicians. He recently completed a chapter, Queering Music Teacher Training for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Gender and Queer Studies in Music Education. 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 frequently serves as a guest peer reviewer of scholarship related to gender and sexual diversity in music education contexts for national and international journals. 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 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 the Social Justice Institute Research Lunch Series. Garrett has been honored with a CWRU Prism Award for outstanding contributions to the campus LGBTQ community. He is a co-chair for the upcoming 2024 QMUE 5 Symposium for LGBTQ Studies and Music Education, to be held at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

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. Garrett received a UCITE Glennan Fellowship to support his instructional work at CWRU. He has been nominated twice for the CWRU Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

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. He continues to make music with wonderful people of all ages as Music Director at The Church of the Covenant, in University Circle.


Teaching Information

Courses Taught

Scholarship in Music Education
Student Teaching
Intensive Field Experience
Philosophical and Historical Foundations of Music Education
Choral Methods and Materials
Elements of Conducting
Sociology of Music Education


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