Michael Black, D.M.A.

“My students work together to create a positive environment for personal and musical growth. Through disciplined practice and encouragement from myself and their peers students will learn to use music as an expressive art, and will gain valuable qualities that will help them to be successful in their future endeavors.”


Director of instrumental music; assistant professor of music

Educational Background

  • D.M.A., University of Kentucky – Lexington, KY
  • M.M., University of Connecticut – Storrs, CT
  • B.M.E., Northeastern State University – Tahlequah, OK

Year Joined Franklin



Conducting, wind band history and literature, athletic bands, wind music of Steve Danyew, overcoming podium deafness

I am fascinated by the use of cultural music in the wind band literature, and have conducted particular research on the use of African-American, Irish, and English folk song idioms in wind band literature. I have presented seminars on student leadership in athletic band settings and enjoy finding ways bring out the best qualities in students.

Why is it important for students to continue pursuing music at the collegiate level if they are not music majors?

The study of music is intrinsically linked with studies in almost any other subject. Math, Physics, Geography, History, and Literature all play a role in the development of music, and music plays a role in all of those subjects as well. Through the study of music students will find that their general education flows together in a comfortable and natural way. In addition, students that continue to explore music at the collegiate level will enjoy the benefit of making lifelong friends. I met my wife through collegiate music studies, and she was not a music major. There are few things that a group of people can do together more intimate than music making. This intimacy leads to long and fast friendships.

What advice do you have for students that are interested in the Franklin College music program?

Contact us early and schedule an audition early! We want to work closely with you through the audition process and throughout your time here at Franklin College. In order to do this, we need to know who you are. Come and visit campus, meet the professors, and sit in with one of the music ensembles in rehearsal. Studying music at Franklin College is a unique experience and will provide you with the opportunity to work closely with professors, often in a one on one environment. Success in the world of music is often dictated by who you know. Start networking now and make acquaintance with as many musicians as you can. Make sure you leave a positive first impression on all of them.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Honors and Awards

Kappa Kappa Psi, Delta Omicron Chapter – Honorary Membership, 2014
Tau Beta Sigma, Gamma Kappa Chapter – Honorary Membership, 2013
National Junior Honors Society – Influential Teacher, 2012
Northeastern State University – Summa Cum Laude, 2009
Northeastern State University – Academic Achievement Award, 2008

Areas of Research

Performance Practice in the Marches of John Philip Sousa
Interpreting Articulation in the Works of Vaclav Nelhybel
The Use of African American Music Styles in Symphonic Works
Wind Band music of Irish Composers
Analysis of the Original Folk Songs used by Percy Grainger in Lincolnshire Posy

What Students Say

“Dr. Black is one of the most genuine people I have ever met, and his great personality drives his instruction. He has taught me so much about music and life through his lessons and actions. His obvious passion makes me want to go to class and try my best. He creates an environment in his classroom that is free of worldly stress, and I look forward to making music in that peaceful and welcoming time. Dr. Black strives to have a connection with each of his students, and knowing he values my skills has allowed me to become much more confident in them. I am so grateful to have him as a role model, professor, and incredible mentor.” – Laura Smith ‘20

In My Spare Time…

Enjoy family outings and activities with my beautiful wife, Caroline, and energetic son, Cade. I am also an active basketball player, biker, and runner. In 2015 I completed my first marathon in Eastern Kentucky. I am a huge sports enthusiast and love to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder play basketball (sorry Pacers fans, Oklahoma will always be home to me).