School of Music

Nazareth feels like home

"When I interviewed for my job here at Nazareth, I felt as if I were coming home. I've worked in both private and public education, and I wanted to work for a college where I could inspire and be inspired by my students. At Nazareth, you meet amazing people dedicated to their work every day and truly inspiring students. I love Nazareth's commitment to the liberal arts and civic engagement and responsibility. I value the additional accessibility that working at Nazareth allows me in my position when it comes to teaching and working with my students."

I bring my "A" game to class

"My teaching style is engaging and what I hope for my students, credible. The limited amount of time we have with students in the classroom means that I need to bring my 'A' game to class. I want to inspire my students to take what they are learning and integrate it with their own experiences."

I keep in touch with my students

"It's important to me to remain connected to my students, even after they leave my classroom and the school. I remain 'on call' for them on Thursday nights for FaceTime or text messaging. My alumni know that they can reach out to me. We'll meet at an area Starbucks to talk."

My advice to students

"Be optimistic about your futures. You will be in charge a lot sooner than you expect. Your generation will resonate profoundly. Find what inspires you and don't look back."

Favorite quote about teaching

"Teaching begins when the student has a problem. All else is instruction." — Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss composer, musician, and music educator

Fun facts

  • "I am also a bassoonist. I teach students not only to play the instrument but also to make, adjust, and manage their own bassoon reeds. Our faculty quintet called the Wilmot Wind Quintet performs regularly."
  • Dr. Koster enjoys playing tennis and volleyball. He also has traveled to 45 states and 4 continents. He hopes to perfect his French and German language skills and is learning Arabic.

Student Perspective

"Dr. Koster taught me how to 'drive the bus' in my classroom. His unwavering kindness, humor, and enthusiasm for education is what motivates me to keep looking for new ideas, refresh my lesson plans, and always keep my classroom student centered. He leads by example and aims to make you a lifelong educator, and I now aim to make my students lifelong learners who love music."

​— Lindsey Rybicki (Doyle) '14, '15G, strings teacher, Crane and Winslow elementary schools, Rush-Henrietta Central School District

Keith Koster with student

Bassoon Studio Class: Prof. Koster works with music major Dominic Vesely during their weekly class, where they were making and adjusting their bassoon reeds.

School of Music Responsibilities

  • Program Director for Undergraduate & Graduate Music Education
  • Introduction to Music Education
  • Teaching Music in the Elementary School
  • Issues in Elementary Music Teaching
  • Student Teaching Supervision
  • Advisor, Collegiate Music Educators National Conference (CMENC) chapter
Keith Koster


  • Paul and Gertrude Mathews Prize for Excellence in Teaching
  • High Flyer Award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching.
  • Sigma Phi Zeta music honor society
  • Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society