Photo of Arthur Houle

Arthur Houle

Professor of Music

Contact Information

Moss Performing Arts Center 130



DMA, University of Iowa
MM, New England Conservatory
BM, University of Massachusetts


Arthur Houle, DMA, is a professor of music at Colorado Mesa University where he teaches applied piano, piano pedagogy, keyboard literature, piano ensemble and accompanying techniques. He is founder and director of the Festival for Creative Pianists, a unique competition for young pianists that promotes classical and jazz improvisation, versatility, composition, individuality and repertory excellence in all styles. The festival's website contains a treasure trove of educational information on how to incorporate more spontaneity and creativity into piano teaching and performing.

Houle is also passionate about chamber music (performing often with colleagues and guest artists) and for the music of Chopin. He was the only pianist to be invited to perform twice, to critical acclaim, in the 1995 International Chopin Music Festival. He gives coast-to-coast lecture/recitals and master classes at prestigious institutions across the country and for various teacher organizations. Houle also presents often for national and regional professional conferences.

Houle is the recipient of five CMU Exemplary Faculty Awards and the 2011 Music Teachers National Association Fellow Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of music teaching. Most recently he was recognized as a "Steinway & Sons Top Teacher." He has written for numerous professional periodicals. In 2008, the Hal Leonard Corporation published "Cowboy Jazz", a collection of Houle's original compositions for students. Houle's new publisher, Abundant Silence, recently published "Cowboy Jazz II" and is in the process of publishing other original Houle compositions.

His teaching philosophy can be summed up as follows: a single class may be forgotten, but a revolution in perspective and process will last forever. Students are invited into the learning process with this empowering message from Houle "I can 'teach' you, or together we can discover how to learn. I would like to put myself out of business, to help you become so self-sufficient that I will no longer be needed."

Houle engages students via his emphasis on creativity, discovery and empowerment (learning how to learn). A private teacher since the age of 13, Houle taught previously at New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, the College of Idaho and the universities of Iowa, North Dakota and Texas-Austin. Houle is editor of a newly published scholarly edition of Clementi's Sonatinas, "Op. 36," an important set of pieces used worldwide in piano teaching. Houle's edition is the first and only one that accounts for every primary source, eliminates all the errors found in every other past and present edition, and includes extensive footnotes on creativity and performance practice. Recordings of the "Op. 36" sonatinas by Houle are also published by Abundant Silence.

Curriculum Vitae