Dr. Erik Johnson is a member of the music education faculty at Colorado State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, conducts the CSU Concert Band, and is the director of the CSU Middle School Outreach Ensemble program. As an award winning conductor, teacher, and scholar, Erik’s goals are to cultivate a passion for music learning for students at all levels. He holds a master’s degree in Wind Conducting and a Ph.D in Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Erik is a 2016 GRAMMY Research Award winner - an award that is 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. 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. Erik has also been a two-time finalist in the Colorado Teacher of the Year Award sponsored by the Colorado Department of Education. In 2009, Erik received first prize in the Hugh McMillan conducting competition and was recently a featured scholar in the documentary, Carry the Tune that won best documentary at the 2015 San Francisco Film Festival and was an Official Selection of the World Arts Film Festival. In 2001, he helped his students at Highlands Ranch High School organize an event called “United We Sing” which raised over $350,000 for the victims of the September 11th attacks.
As a conductor, clinician, and educational consultant, Erik has worked extensively as a conductor and consultant throughout Colorado, the United States, Japan, India, Lithuania, Spain, and China. He currently is on the conducting staff of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras and is the founder of the Greater Boulder Youth Wind Ensemble which was invited to perform in 2017 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He is a frequent music festival adjudicator and presenter at state, national and international music conferences including recent presentations in India, Spain, Scotland, and Lithuania, and Ireland. As a researcher, Erik focuses upon ways that scholarship can help teachers in the K-12 classroom deliver outstanding and inspired instruction. His current research focuses peer-assisted learning, music teacher identity development, and music theory pedagogy. 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.