Chair, Department of Music and Visual Arts, Associate Professor of Music
B.M. in Piano Performance, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University
M.M. and D.M.A. in Piano Performance, Butler School of Music, The University of Texas at Austin
As Associate Professor of Music, Michael Benson, D.M.A., NCTM, serves as department chair for Music and Visual Arts, is coordinator of keyboard studies, and director of the Malone University Preparatory Program.
He has performed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Steinway Hall in New York, and in Chicago at Preston Bradley Hall on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series. He has contributed piano pedagogy articles to Music Teachers National Association’s (MTNA) E-Journal, Texas Music Teacher, American Music Teacher, Teaching Music, Keyboard Companion, Clavier and the on-line journal Piano Pedagogy Forum. In 2010, he was invited to present his research on group piano during the Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Symposium at The University of Texas at Austin and in the past three years, has been invited to present piano master classes at the First Annual Piano Pedagogy Symposium at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music during the Second Annual Piano Pedagogy Symposium, and at Brigham Young University for the Third Annual Piano Pedagogy Symposium. In 2015, Benson was invited to present Masterclassing: The How-to and What to Teach in Public at the MTNA National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has also read research papers at the First Music Technology Conference (2001) in Nanjing, Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and at the World Piano Conference (2008) in Novi Sad, Serbia.
He continues to be active in Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA) where he serves as the State Buckeye Auditions chairperson. He has served OMTA as the state chair for Professional Piano Certification and was Northwest OMTA district chair for two terms as well as Buckeye Auditions chair for the Northwest and Middle-West districts. Other offices include serving for two terms as the East Central Division commissioner for Professional Certification and he continues to serve as the MTNA National chair for Collegiate Grants.
His teaching has included a semester abroad as a foreign expert in the Art Education College of JiMei University (Peoples Republic of China) and faculty appointments at Carl Sandburg College, the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater and Oakland University (MI). For nine years, Benson taught piano and piano pedagogy at the Interlochen Center for the Arts summer camp and during summer 2015, he co-directed a summer Chamber Music camp in collaboration with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and Malone University.
He holds degrees in piano performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied piano with Robert Roux and The University of Texas at Austin where he studied piano and piano pedagogy with professors Martha Hilley, Sophia Gilmson and Nancy Garrett.