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David Garner’s philosophy of teaching originates in his near-obsession with forms of human communication, most notably language. During his long tenure as professor of musicianship and theory, he stressed the application of theory—and not just its elements--through the ability to read music as a language. As a professor of composition, he stresses clarity in communicating human experience, which he feels is the paramount mission of the composer. To this end, he stresses clarity of syntax, notation, and intent in his composition students.


Here are links to some of David's former students in composition, music theory, and performance who carry on this tradition:



Sahba Aminikia

Roman Baranskiy

Julie Barwick

Derek David

Mario Godoy

Jon Kulpa

Bryan Lin

Emma Logan

Luke Mayernik

Kenji Oh

Shahab Paranj

Michelangelo Rodriguez

Michael T. Roberts

Andrew Vickers

John Vidovic



Lisa Delan, soprano

Mark Hernandez, tenor

Maryam Mahvi Donovan

Crystal Philippi, mezzo-soprano

Rebecca Plack, Ph.D., soprano

Raeeka Shehabi-Yaghmai, soprano

Elza van den Heever, soprano

Krista Wigle, soprano

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