Associate Professor of Music


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor of Music
    • Music Education (Instrumental)
  • Concentration:

    • Music Education
  • Department:

    • Bands and Music


Dr. Erik Johnson is an associate professor of Music Education and coordinator of Instrumental Music Education at Colorado State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, is the director of the CSU Middle School Outreach Ensemble & Trying-on-Teaching programs, and conducts the 130 member CSU Concert Band. As a music educator, Erik’s goals are to cultivate a sincere passion for artistry and music learning for students at all levels. Erik is a CSU Distinction in Community Outreach Award winner and a GRAMMY Scientific Research Co-Award winner — an award that is shared with his colleague Dr. Blythe LaGasse and accompanied by a grant that supports research into how peer-assisted learning in music can help to improve social responsiveness for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is also a recipient of the 2019 CSU Ann Gill Faculty Development Award which is accompanied by a grant to fund research in teacher resiliency, longevity, and attrition in Colorado schools. He holds a master’s degree in Wind Conducting and a Ph.D in Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

As a teacher, Erik has received three school board commendations, two 9-News Teacher Who Cares awards, and a Colorado Teacher of the Year award sponsored by the Walmart Foundation. As a conductor, clinician, and educational consultant, Erik has worked extensively throughout the United States and internationally in Japan, India, China, Spain, Ireland, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. He serves as the artistic director and curator for SpaRk!, an annual immersive music festival serving patrons in the San Francisco Bay area. In 2009, Erik received first prize in the Hugh McMillan conducting competition and is a frequent music festival adjudicator and presenter at state, national and international music education conferences including presentations in Finland, Canada, Lithuania, Scotland, Spain, and China. He was a featured scholar in the documentary Carry the Tune (directed and produced by Paul Trapkus) which was awarded best documentary at the 2015 San Francisco Film Festival and was an official selection of the World Arts Film Festival. His scholarly writings and research have been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Contributions to Music Education, Journal of Education and Training Studies, and The Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education. His most recent book A Guide to Student Teaching — written in collaboration with authors Dennis Fisher (University of North Texas) and Lissa May (Indiana University) — is available through GIA Publications.