Toby W. Rush

Music Educator & Technologist

"Daddy" (2013) Crayon and ink on paper, by Sofie (5)

I am a professor, erstwhile computer programmer and graphic designer, amateur writer, husband and dad.

PROFESSOR In 2011 I was appointed Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Technology at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, where I teach music theory, aural skills, music technology and composition. My research specialties include pedagogy and using new media in education. Before coming to Ohio I taught music theory and aural skills at the University of Northern Colorado for almost 15 years.

As an educator, I've created and continue to maintain a set of theory resources called Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People, which are free for all to download an distribute. I am currently collaborating with Dr. Stefanie Acevedo on a complete revision of the undergraduate music theory curriculum which seeks to make it more accessible, diverse, and relevant.

PROGRAMMER/DESIGNER I have dabbled in computer programming for years, and in the 90s I did quite a bit of freelance web design and computer programming. I wrote a CD playback utility for Mac OS, NetCD, which was in popular use before the introduction of iTunes. Afterward I designed an educational program for applying music theory to the piano keyboard called MIDI Keyboard Lab. I also designed the entire database and online storefront for UNC Jazz Press. (Though since I left, it's been replaced with something a lot uglier!)

My recent projects include Braille Music Notator, an online utility designed for sighted music instructors to create effective and elegant braille music scores for their students. I am currently working on an interactive, online, open source textbook which supports our newly revised theory curriculum.

WRITER Just recently I've discovered that I enjoy writing fiction, and after attempting and completing NaNoWriMo 2010, I wrote a short story for the sequel to the critically acclaimed anthology Machine of Death. It was one of 31 stories accepted (out of 2000!) and was published by Grand Central Publishing in June of 2013. In 2012 I completed my second novel, for which I am currently seeking representation.

HUSBAND AND DAD The best part! I live in Centerville, Ohio, with my amazing wife Andrea, my six fabulous children Jayden, Noah, Owen, Sofie, Wyatt and Zia, and our cats, Denki and Scarlett.

You can reach me by email at or on Twitter at @tobyrush.