Deron Mcgee earned a BM with majors in Music Theory/Composition and Trumpet and a MA in Music History and Literature Studies from the University of Wyoming. He completed his Ph.D. in Music Theory at the University at Wisconsin-Madison. After a one year appointment as an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, he came to the University of Kansas where he is an Associate Professor of Music Theory and the Founder and Director of the Kansas Center for Music Technology (KCMT). The mission of the KCMT is to promote the application of technology in music research, teaching, and creative projects at the University of Kansas. The Center's purpose is to provide the resources and training to accommodate: changing views of knowledge; changing student backgrounds, needs, and abilities; changing ideas about teaching and how people work in groups; changing applications of technology for representing and communicating information; and changing abilities and interests of individual faculty members. Through various workshops, courses, and research projects, the KCMT fosters a critical approach to the use of technology for instruction, research, and creative activities.
At the University of Kansas, Professor McGee teaches first- and second-year undergraduate music majors in their core music theory classes, teaches and supervises an undergraduate course in music technology, and conducts several graduate courses and seminars including Analytical Techniques, Schenkerian Analysis, Music Theory Pedagogy, Computers in Music and Music Research, and others. In addition to his classroom teaching, Professor McGee is actively involved in mentoring young scholars, in part, by directing capstone projects for senior music theory majors, directing MM theses and PhD dissertations, directing DMA documents, and technology projects for students completing a technology track as one of their research skills.
Professor McGee reaches outside the department by presenting several workshops and lectures to public school and private music teachers each year and speaks to civic organizations around the region about the "mysteries" of music theory and technology. He is a reviewer for Oxford University Press, W.W. Norton & Company, and J. J. Wiley and Sons, serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and is the co-editor of Computers in Music Research.
His research interests include developing computer models and simulations of music theories, examining the relationships between music and complex adaptive systems, music theory pedagogy, and studying the role of music in higher education. He has presented papers throughout the nation and overseas, his articles can be found in Computers in Music Research and the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, and his first book, Knowledge-based Programming for Music Research, co-authored with John Schaffer, was released by A-R Editions in 1998. He is currently writing a book about teaching music theory that presents a theory of learning based on recent research into the structure and functions of the brain.