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Teaching Associate Professor
College of Music & Residential Academic Programs

Mike Barnett

Teaching Associate Professor 

Intro to Songwriting, Music in the Rock Era


Mike Barnett balances an active career as a composer, drummer, recording artist, record producer, author and educator. He currently teaches songwriting and rock history at CU, as well as various courses in American popular music. His eclectic creative output and non-traditional background distinguish him among his peers.

A passion for rock music led Barnett to discover his penchant for the drums. He began self-instruction at an early age and was well established in the world of heavy metal and art rock while still in his teens. He has worked as a songwriter and drummer in several bands over the past three decades, including Phantom CrewDofkaTainted Saint and Throttle, and has performed on many studio recordings as a “hired gun.” He has also produced records for various rock and pop artists. Among his recent creative work in the recording arts is an instrumental heavy metal/classical fusion project called Terminal Degree which brings together electric violins and electric celli with conventional electric bass guitar and drum set. The first Terminal Degree recording, “The Middle of Nowhen” met with high critical acclaim and commercial success. The second studio effort, “Breed,” was released in the Spring 2016 on vinyl and compact disc. Mike is also the force behind the new eclectic singles project, Egg Jar.  

Barnett earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a DMA in composition from the University of Colorado Boulder. His concert music has been performed around the world by prominent musicians and ensembles, and has earned him numerous awards.