Walter Everett

Walter EverettWalter Everett
Class of 1976
Major: Music Education, Piano  


Current Position

Professor of Music in Music Theory
School of Music, Theatre and Dance
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Walter began piano lessons at the age of six. But it was upon seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964 that he knew he was going to be a musician. He considers himself lucky to have had good piano teachers throughout the years leading up to his enrollment at Gettysburg College, which is where he discovered his fascination with music scholarship.

Walt entered Gettysburg College considering a major in math, but soon became engaged with psychology after an Intro to Psych course in his first semester. But as he pursued his study of psychology, he also got to know some music majors ... and soon found himself auditioning on piano and voice for Dr. Parker Wagnild. After that, he never looked back.

Gettysburg College Highlights

Walt considers time spent with friends in and out of classes, choir, and band among his greatest memories of Gettysburg. Specific highlights include:

  • His Junior Recital, which gave him a new respect for his own musicianship
  • Student teaching during his final semester
  • Fraternity life at Sigma Nu
  • A film shot with other students which, he confides, has "never seen the light of day."

Life After Gettysburg

After graduating, Walt had a private piano studio for two years, but soon realized that he enjoyed teaching theory more than he did fingerings and pedaling. He pursued his Master's degree at Cincinnati, followed by his Ph.D. in music theory at the University of Michigan.

Over the course of his career, Walter has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate theory courses. He supervises doctoral research; has published articles and books in the areas of rock music, vocal music of the 18th and 19th centuries, and Schenkerian analysis; and has given presentations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.   

Today, Walt urges music students to work hard to improve both their strengths and their weaknesses. He encourages the learning of representative repertoires in all forms and historical styles of music, not just those written for a specific instrument or voice. He encourages young musicians to read as much about music as possible - and go to lots of concerts! 

"While my work as a music major was central to my profession, my studies in other areas [were also] key. I took several courses in the English department at Gettysburg ... [and] nearly all of my publications have involved close readings of the poetic texts of songs. In a similar way, even a course I had in statistics has informed my work, as has my understanding of European intellectual history as covered in a two-semester course at G'burg. I am a big fan of liberal arts education."

- Walter Everett '76

Read an interview with Walter Everett