Dr. Karen Thomas

Dr. Karen Thomas
First Name: 
Dr. Karen
Last Name: 
Main Title: 
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education
Office Location: 
Room 211, Broyhill Music Center

Dr. Karen S. Thomas is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education in the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University. Dr. Thomas earned a Ph.D. in Music Education, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ethnomusicology, a M.M. in Music Education, and a B.A. in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Prior to her current position, Dr. Thomas was Assistant Professor of General Music Education at The University of Utah from 2020 – 2022. She served as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Music at Winston-Salem State University from 2022 – 2023 and from 2019 – 2020. She was an Adjunct Instructor of Music Education in the Hayes School of Music (2016 – 2019) and a University Field Supervisor in the Reich College of Education (2017 – 2019) at Appalachian State University. Dr. Thomas taught general music in the North Carolina public schools for 13 years. She 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, and also enjoys playing piano, ukulele, guitar, and mountain dulcimer. Dr. Thomas has earned Level 1 certification in Music Learning Theory Elementary General Music, and Orff-Schulwerk certification (Levels I, II, and III). 

Dr. Thomas's interests include general music education (i.e., music learning and teaching practices, pre-service music teacher preparation, Orff-Schulwerk, World Music Pedagogy) and music psychology (i.e., perception, emotion, musicians’ well-being). Dr. Thomas has presented at state, national, and international conferences, including the North Carolina Music Educators Association, Utah 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, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, and Psychology of Music.