Karen S. Thomas
Assistant Professor, General Music Education
PhD University of North Carolina at Greensboro
MM University of North Carolina at Greensboro
BA University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Dr. Karen S. Thomas will begin her appointment as Assistant Professor of General Music Education at the University of Utah in Fall 2020. She earned a Ph.D. in Music Education, as well as a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ethnomusicology, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received a M.M. in Music Education and a B.A. in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dr. Thomas taught general music in the North Carolina public schools for 13 years and served as chairperson of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (NC) elementary music section for the last three of those years. Dr. Thomas taught for many years as a clarinet instructor, and served as director of music camps, at the Music Academy of North Carolina. She has performed as a clarinetist with the Piedmont Wind Symphony (NC), and also enjoys playing piano, ukulele, guitar, and mountain dulcimer. She has earned National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music, Level 1 certification in Music Learning Theory Elementary General Music, and Orff-Schulwerk certification (Levels I, II, and III). Prior to her appointment at the University of Utah, Dr. Thomas was an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Music at Winston-Salem State University (NC) from 2019 – 2020; she served as an Adjunct Instructor of Music Education in the Hayes School of Music and a University Field Supervisor in the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University (NC) from 2016 – 2019.
Dr. Thomas is a member of various organizations including the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), and Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE).
Dr. Thomas's interests include general music education, music psychology, musicians’ hearing health, music learning and teaching practices, and ethnomusicology. Dr. Thomas has presented at state, national, and international conferences, including the North Carolina Music Educators Association, Society for Music Teacher Education, Mountain Lake Colloquium for Teachers of General Music Methods, International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, and the International Conference for Research in Music Education. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, and Psychology of Music.