Dr. Matthew Spieker

Dr. Matthew Spieker

Assistant Professor of Music Education
Ball State University


Matthew H. Spieker has been a music educator for over 26 years having taught all levels of orchestra and general music in U.S. school districts of South Carolina and Colorado, and from 2005 to 2007, Dr. Spieker taught internationally at the John F. Kennedy Schule in Berlin, Germany. Currently, he teaches at Ball State University as an assistant professor of music education with an emphasis on string/orchestral education.

Dr. Spieker’s school ensembles performed several times at Colorado’s state music convention and received numerous superior ratings at large group music festivals. They also toured Germany and Austria and received wonderful reviews and created lifelong friendships with students and teacher at the German Sinfonie Orchester der Musikschule Lüchow-Dannenberg.

Dr. Spieker is a guest clinician, adjudicator, and all-state orchestra conductor throughout the United States including Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Utah, New Hampshire, New York, and South Carolina. He also has worked abroad in cities including Brussels, Vienna, Geneva and Beijing. And since 2000, Dr. Spieker has been the conductor of the Internationales Orchester Camp in Lüchow, Germany.

As a clinician, Dr. Spieker speaks to issues concerning string pedagogy, school and classroom culture/environment, recruiting, motivation and more. He has presented at state conferences including Arizona, Colorado and New Hampshire. And he has presented nationally at American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA) National Conference, Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

Published articles include state music journals of Alabama and Oregon. National articles include NAfME’s Teaching Music, General Music Today, Research Issues & Music Education, and Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. Dr. Spieker’s research interests include string pedagogy, school and classroom culture/environment, figurative language use, youth string musicians’ health, and music education history.

Dr. Spieker has been involved with professional communities of ASTA (American String Teachers Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Education), IMEA (Indiana Music Educators Association), CMEA (Colorado Music Educators Association), AMEA (Arizona Music Education Association), AMIS (Association of Music in International Schools) and CMS (College Music Society).

Dr. Spieker holds a Bachelors degree in music education from the University of Northern Colorado, a Masters of Music Education degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a Doctorate of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

The best part of Dr. Spieker’s life is being a husband to Roberta, father to Brittney and Lyndsey, and now Grandad (or Grumps) to his grandchildren.

  Session Titles

Quick Fixes for String Orchestras


As a long-time string clinician, I have developed “pet peeves” concerning youth, string playing. It doesn’t matter where I go in the world, there seems to be common issues that frequently show themselves in performances. Quick Fixes for String Orchestras is a clinic designed to help me rid the world of these pesky habits that are often easily fixed with simple and practical solutions.

Teaching Strings for the Non-String Player


Teaching Strings for the Non-String Player is a clinic designed to help non-string players understand how to think like a string player. Topics covered are tone production, fingerboard mapping and intonation, and more.

The First 10 Minutes of Class


The First 10 Minutes of Class is a clinic designed to give string teachers an understanding of the importance of warm ups for any orchestral ensemble. Practical concepts concerning string pedagogy will help teachers write their own warm ups for their classrooms.

The Magic of Music Education


With a twinkle in his eye, Dumbledore exclaimed, “Music, a magic far beyond what we do here!” Is that true? Most definitely. But how is true and why should American schools embrace it? The essence of music’s magic will be discussed and answers will be given as to why music must remain in our education system.

The Right Finger on the Right Spot


The Right Finger on the Right Spot is a clinic designed to stress the importance of fingerboard mapping, which is the first step to good intonation. Teachers are given concepts and practical advice to help them help students to think like a string player.