Music

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Music students have performance opportunities from the first semester onward.

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Stellar faculty includes 19 members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Grammy winners and performing and recording artists, augmented by guests such as acclaimed DSO conductor Jaap van Zweden.

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Numerous ensembles and programs, including the Meadows Opera Theatre, provide multiple opportunities for performing on and off campus.

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Multiple degrees are offered in performance, composition, music therapy, education and more at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Deborah Perkins

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Education, Director of Mustang Strings

Deborah Perkins, Ph.D., is known for her love of teaching diverse musical styles and for her ability to have fun by creating an encouraging atmosphere that challenges students as they achieve mastery of musical skills beyond their age level.  She received her B.M.E. degree from State University College at Potsdam, N.Y.; M.M.E. degree from the University of South Carolina; and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas.  Also known for building programs, Perkins has built and reinforced public school orchestra programs in Florida, South Carolina and Texas.  She has served in a leadership position in ASTA (American String Teachers Association) and TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) and is serving a two-year term as “Member at Large” on the national ASTA board.

Perkins currently teaches string pedagogy and string techniques, and conducts "Mustang Strings," a string orchestra at Southern Methodist University founded fall 2011 that is open to non-majors. She is the co-founder of the internationally travelling Texas Youth Orchestra, which has performed in Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and the United Kingdom; trips to Spain and France and planned for 2015.  A hallmark of her teaching is making music that expresses and touches the heart of the students and audiences alike.  Fondly referred to as the “Pied Piper of Strings” by her friends, her dissertation focused on the motivation of students enrolling in orchestra. 

Perkins maintains an active schedule as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor throughout the United States and serves as a performing artist and clinician for Eastman Strings. She is married to Steve Perkins, and they have one daughter, Kayla.

Education

B.M.E. SUNY Potsdam, N.Y.; M.M.E. University of South Carolina; Ph.D. University of North Texas

Professional Experience

Taught in 27 schools, in three states and five school districts; teaching at SMU since 1999

Teaching

String Techniques (upper and lower); String Pedagogy I and II; conducts Mustang Strings (SMU's community string orchestra)

Publications

Numerous articles in the American String Teacher

Areas of Study

Advertising

Art

Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Communication Studies

Creative Computation

Dance

Film and Media Arts

Journalism

Music

Welcome to the Division of Music

About the Division of Music

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Departments

Ensembles

Classes

Facilities

Faculty and Staff

Dallas Resources

Student Resources

SMU Meadows Licensed Music Rights

Workshops and Special Programs

Theatre