Thomas Swenson

Nationally Certified Teacher of Music Thomas Swenson teaches keyboard skills in the School of Music. Swenson has distinguished himself as a national leader in the field of piano pedagogy through publications, leadership positions, presentations, workshops, performances and the achievements of his students.   


  • Chaired the piano department and directed the accelerated program at the Music Academy of North Carolina
  • Former President of the North Carolina Music Teachers Association
  • Former Director of the Center for Musical Excellence and Assistant Professor of Music at Salem College 
  • Former faculty at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Served for nearly 20 years as the piano instructor for the UNC Greensboro Summer Music Camp
  • Taught a Recreational Music Making course to adults traveling throughout the world, as part of the Creative Learning Institute for Crystal Cruise Lines
  • “Master Teacher” at the Music Academy of North Carolina
  • Regular contributor to “Piano Magazine”
  • Founder of a social media community focused on Collegiate Group Piano
  • Serves on the Board of Directors for the Music Teachers National Association as Southern Division Director (2022-2024)

Career Highlights

  • Author of "Not Just Big Kids!: Motivations, Preferences, Backgrounds and Attitudes of Adult Piano Students," available in five languages
  • Presented sessions at the MTNA National Conference, Music Educators National Conference, the World Music Symposium and at numerous state and local conferences and workshops

Awards, Recognitions & Honors

  • North Carolina Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year Award, 2020
  • Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow, 2015
  • Recipient of an “Outstanding Service Recognition Award” from the Frances Clark Center (2023)


  • Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)
  • National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy Committee on Teaching Adults
  • Past Board of Directors for the Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC)


Ph.D. Piano Pedagogy and Music EducationUniversity of Oklahoma

M.M. Piano PerformanceUNC Greensboro

B.M. Piano PerformanceMinnesota State University Moorhead