Dr. Rick Townsend

Director of Instrumental Music | Director of Music Teacher Education
School of Education

PhD in Music Education and Wind Conducting | Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
MMus in Music Education and Supervision | Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
BA in Music | Alma College, Alma, Michigan

Dr. Rick Townsend came to Maranatha in 1996 to direct the music teacher education and instrumental music programs, and now has more than 40 years of music teaching experience. He has taught all levels of music in public and Christian schools. This includes early childhood music and movement classes, elementary general music, keyboard, secondary band and choir, college instrumental, and adult community groups. He directed the Freedom Farm Music Camp in Michigan for more than 15 years. Dr. Townsend has published extensive curriculum for band use, including Heritage I & II, and Progressions for Young Band, as well as numerous articles for music education journals. He has served as the early childhood chair of the Wisconsin Music Educator’s Association Council, and managing director of the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA.org) from 2007-2013. He currently writes an early childhood music blog entitled The Parent Connection. 

Dr. Townsend and his wife, Linda, serve at Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown. Dr. Townsend plays in the church orchestra and teaches fifth and sixth grade band and choir for Calvary Baptist Christian School. He and his wife have three adult children—David, Todd, and Jennifer. “Dr. T,” as he is known by his students, is an avid Detroit Lions fan, claiming it keeps him humble. He writes curriculum when he is not teaching, and he loves chocolate ice cream.