Dr. Kristen M. Bugos
Assistant Professor of Music, School of Fine Arts
Dr. Kristen Bugos is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at East Texas Baptist University. She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t organizing classes and lessons of all kinds for her three younger sisters and neighborhood children. She played piano and flute and was involved in school choir and band and a community band. The combination of her interests in teaching and music led to the obvious choice of a career in music education. As an eighth grader, she wrote in her journal, “I think I want to be a music teacher when I grow up.” For her bachelor’s degree, Dr. Bugos completed the instrumental/vocal combined track with piano as her major instrument. She taught elementary general music, beginning bands, and instrumental lessons for six years in a small, rural district in the Southern Tier of New York State. She also taught private piano lessons, accompanied high school and community musical productions, all-county and community choruses, and served as a church pianist and worship team leader. Upon completing her master’s degree, as required by New York State for continuing teacher certification, she remembers saying, “Hooray! I’m done with classes forever!” But just two years later, she was enrolled as a full-time student in a doctoral program. During those years she completed additional specialized training in early childhood and elementary music education, researched various aspects of music education, taught music classes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, taught graduate and undergraduate courses in music education and arts education, and served as a church pianist. Dr. Bugos has participated in nearly every educational format. In addition to her teaching experiences in varied settings, she attended two private Christian elementary schools, two public high schools, a small Christian liberal arts college, and a large public university; was homeschooled for three years; and completed her master’s degree online.
What brought you to ETBU?
Initially, ETBU was just another school with a job opening in music education. I saw the posting online and applied because the position looked right for my interests and I liked the Christian affiliation of the university, but I didn’t have any particular attraction to ETBU. As I got to know more about the university and met the wonderful people here, it became apparent that it was a great fit for me. It was helpful that Dr. Eric Thomas had worked at Houghton College in western New York, where I was an undergraduate student and later an adjunct instructor. Although our paths did not cross at Houghton, we had a number of common acquaintances, which made it easier for the ETBU music faculty to find out more about me and for me to find out more about the ETBU music department.
What makes a student successful in your class?
I feel that a student has been successful if he or she understands the material, can apply it in a meaningful way, and has the skills and interest to pursue further growth in that area as a life-long learner. As far as grades are concerned, I think the most important things a student can do are to work consistently throughout the semester (attending class and completing assignments on time) and ask for help (if needed) right away rather than waiting until it’s too late.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your ETBU colleagues?
I was impressed by the evidence of my colleagues’ Christian faith in their willingness to help, encourage, and support me through my first year. They helped me move (twice!), explained ETBU procedures, provided advice on courses, took me out for coffee, drove me to the airport, and much more. I aspire to follow their example in providing the same kind of support for other new members of the ETBU community, whether faculty, staff, or student.
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2011
M.Ed., Indiana Wesleyan University, 2004
B.Mus.Ed., Houghton College, 2000
New York State teacher certification, Music K-12 (permanent)
Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML) Early Childhood Music Level 2
GIML Elementary General Music Level 1
Orff-Schulwerk Level I
Areas of Expertise
Dr. Bugos teaches class piano courses and elementary music education courses for music majors and non-music majors.
American Orff-Schulwerk Association
Gordon Institute for Music Learning (chair, Membership Commission)
The National Association for Music Education
Texas Music Educators Association
Texas Music Educators Conference
Bugos, K. M. (2010). Appendix A: “I wanna do it with the letters”: The role of text in preschool children’s song performance, to Runfola & Etopio, The nature of performance-based criterion measures in early childhood music education research, and related issues. In T. Brophy (ed.). The Practice of Assessment in Music Education: Frameworks, Models, and Designs. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Research in Music Education. Chicago: GIA Publications.
Bugos, K. M. (2010). Contributor, TIPS: The Child Voice (2nd ed.), Runfola, M. and Rutkowski, J. (eds.). Lenham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Bugos, K.M. (2009, September). Are principals our pals? School Music News, 73(1), 23-25. [invited]
Bugos, K.M. (2012, June 12). Promoting empathy, value, and respect in music classes. Region 7 Education Service Center Fine Arts Summit THE VALUE of tHeARTS: Preparing 21st Century Learners: Empathy, Value, Inspiration. Longview, TX.
Bugos, K.M. (2012, June 12). The creative process: 21st century ways of thinking and working. Region 7 Education Service Center Fine Arts Summit THE VALUE of tHeARTS: Preparing 21st Century Learners: Empathy, Value, Inspiration. Longview, TX.
Bugos, K.M. (2011, December). Making music with the great composers: Developing musical understanding through interactive listening. Winter Conference of the New York State School Music Association, Rochester, NY.
Bugos, K.M. (2009, August). Curricular decision-making of 1st-year classroom music teachers: Implications for advancing Music Learning Theory. Poster presented at the Second International Conference of the Gordon Institute for Music Learning Theory, Winston-Salem, NC.
Runfola, M., Etopio, E., Bugos, K., McDonel, J. & Lee, J. (2009, April). The nature of performance-based criterion measures in early childhood music education research, and related issues. Second International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education, Gainesville, FL.
Bugos, K.M. (2009, March). Moving and learning: Promoting creative thinking and kinesthetic intelligence in the classroom. Association for Childhood Education International Annual International Conference and Exhibition, Chicago, IL.
Bugos, K.M. (2009, March). Choosing a teaching approach: Experiences of first-year classroom music teachers with an eclectic pre-service background. Paper presented at the 16th Annual University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education Student Research Symposium, Buffalo, NY.
Bugos, K.M. (2009, March). Elementary principals’ perceptions of the benefits of music education. Paper presented at the 2009 MENC Eastern Division Biennial In-Service Conference, Providence, R.I.
Bugos, K.M. (2008, December). Elementary school principals’ perceptions of the benefits of music education. Poster presented at the Winter Conference of the New York State School Music Association, Rochester, NY.
Bugos, K.M., & Lee, J. (2008, December). Picture books that sing and dance! Winter Conference of the New York State School Music Association, Rochester, NY.
Bugos, K.M. (2008, August). Picture books as a catalyst for music learning. New York State Summer Music Conference, Albany, NY.
Bugos, K.M., & Lee, J. (2008, March). Play with rhythm to reach every child’s music potential. Poster presented at the 2008 Annual International Conference of the Association for Childhood Education International, Atlanta, GA.
Lee, J., & Bugos, K.M. (2008, March). Musical picture books: Children’s literature as a catalyst for developing individual potential in music. Virtual presentation at the 2008 Annual International Conference of the Association for Childhood Education International, Atlanta, GA.
Bugos, K.M. (2007, August). The discourse of audiation: Is one word changing the course of music education? Poster presented at the First International Conference of the Gordon Institute for Music Learning, Dayton, OH. [Paper added to the Edwin E. Gordon Archive, University of South Carolina Music Library, at the request of Dr. Gordon]