David Rickels
Chair, Music Education • Associate Professor of Music Education
Music Education

David A. Rickels, Associate Professor of Instrumental Music Education, was appointed to the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012. He teaches music education courses that include foundational studies, instrumental music methods, psychology, and research methods. Dr. Rickels holds degrees including Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Arizona State University.

Dr. Rickels previously taught in a wide range of settings from kindergarten through college, including high school concert and marching bands, elementary beginning band and general music, and college music education methods courses. Prior to his appointment at the University of Colorado, Dr. Rickels taught at Boise State University (Idaho) and Mesa Community College (Arizona). In the public schools, he was the Director of Bands at Westwood High School (Mesa, Arizona), where his students achieved Superior (I) ratings in the areas of marching band, concert band, and chamber ensemble performance.

Dr. Rickels maintains an active professional involvement with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and its state affiliates. He currently serves on the national board of the Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), and has served in state and local roles that have included festival chair, adjudicator, technology chair, and NAfME Collegiate chair. Dr. Rickels is a sought-after presenter of workshops, professional development seminars, and educational clinics throughout the United States. In addition to multiple guest conducting appearances, Dr. Rickels also has an extensive and varied background in the marching arts as a performer, instructor, designer, and adjudicator. As a visual designer for marching bands, he is in yearly demand for creating drill designs, teaching clinics, and adjudicating competitions.

As a researcher, Dr. Rickels’ interests have centered on music teacher recruitment, technology in learning, and competition in music. He has presented his research findings at national and international conferences of organizations such as the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the International Society for Music Education (ISME), and the Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE). His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, the Journal of Music Teacher Education, and the Journal of Band Research. He has written regularly for the Idaho Music Notes and the Arizona Music News, and has served on the editorial committee of the Music Educators Journal.View Rickels' Curriculum Vitae