Micah B Howard


"Micah Howard is one of the finest teachers and mentors I have ever seen in action. He is a consummate musician and accomplished performer, exhibiting the highest technical and musical standards. While there are many excellent teachers and players in our world, Micah’s qualities as a human being make him truly exceptional. His tenacious commitment to his students, in addition to his integrity and keen intelligence, has yielded remarkable professional success for his studios at CMU and Duquesne. I deeply admire the culture of responsibility Micah fosters, how he instills the highest standards of professionalism in his students, and how he exemplifies excellent music making." - Jeff Turner, Double Bass Professor, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; Former Principal Bass, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

“Micah Howard is one of the most talented double bass instructors today. His approach to teaching is specific to the needs of each individual student while fostering a strong sense of community in his bass studio. He instills in his students a comprehensive knowledge of technique and repertoire enabling them to be successful in any audition or performance they pursue. For me personally, Professor Howard was able to build my confidence in taking auditions and give me strategies for making immediate and lasting improvements to my playing.“ - Jason McNeel, Double Bass, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra; CMU Graduate

“Micah Howard is one of the finest double bass teachers in the country. Micah has the rare ability to see the full potential of a student to a degree that most teachers cannot. He is able to communicate information so that it is clear and accessible for each particular individual. Micah instills a sense of professionalism and a work ethic that transcends music and the double bass and can be applied to all areas of life. The level of commitment and dedication to which he provides is truly exceptional. Above all, Micah is open and honest at all times, while also providing clarity and support in a way that separates him from many of the leading instructors.“ - Christian Dillingham, Grammy Award-Winning Bassist; Adjunct Professor of Music in Jazz Studies/Bass, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana Univerisity; Former Student, Youngstown State University

“Studying with Professor Howard and learning alongside my fellow colleagues in orchestra and academia at Carnegie Mellon has been essential to developing a career in the orchestral workforce. His tutelage has fine-tuned not only my technical and musical skills, but also my understanding of the role of the bass in contemporary orchestra. He not only teaches how to successfully audition for an orchestra, he also provides guidance on how to contribute to and maintain your position in an orchestra. Professor Howard is not only a teacher, he is also a mentor. His guidance is invaluable for anyone aspiring to a career in music.“ - Paul Matz, Double Bass, Buffalo Philharmonic; CMU Graduate

"Micah Howard’s instruction played an incredibly important role in my development as a bassist. He helped me improve and refine fundamental skills necessary for someone pursuing an orchestral career. Patience and resolve lay at the heart of Micah’s process in facilitating a transformation of these elements over my course of study. This comprehensive work on my technical abilities and musical ideas prepared me for professional auditions, a field where Micah’s experience and knowledge also proved to be invaluable. Specifically, his emphasis on one’s mental approach to auditioning, a collection of tools including visualization, equipped me for this competitive arena. An essential part of Micah’s approach which I find both admirable and effective is his calm and focused demeanor, one that is tempered with passion and humor. His focus always remained exclusively on the student, and solutions were explored with a reassuring attitude until the problem, be it technical or musical, and was resolved. This style made stress and anxiety strangers to Micah’s studio. It is this balance of compassion and high standards which creates a learning environment where one can be challenged in a healthy way and ultimately excel. I never questioned the sincerity of Micah’s approach; his pursuit of improvement and excellence comes from a heartfelt belief that his students can and will accomplish great things. Finally, I feel that I learned equally as much about being a person from Micah as I did about being a bass player. His respect and support of colleagues and students, his perseverance and hard work, and his down to earth, humble, and positive attitude are only a few of Micah’s commendable qualities. Having a mentor who is as supportive and kind as Micah is both rare and priceless, and I am deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to study with an individual as special as him." - Ryan Basset, Double Bass, Sarasota Opera; CMU Graduate

"Micah Howard’s teaching was and continues to be an important part of my career. During my Graduate studies, Micah helped me clarify my own artistic vision on the works I was preparing, while holding me accountable to the high standards required to achieve my goal of full-time employment. Now, as a teacher myself, I keep coming back to Micah’s pedagogy when working with my own students. Working with Micah has made me a better musician and a better teacher." - Taylor Brown, Principal Double Bass, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra; Former Student, Duquesne University

"Studying with Micah has been an unforgettably rewarding experience. His knowledge of orchestral playing, as well as producing the best possible bass sound, is unparalleled by anyone I have ever met." - Joseph Gaskins, CMU Graduate

"Studying with Micah Howard has been one of the best decisions I’ve made regarding my education and career. His excellent musicianship and knowledge of orchestral repertoire allow him to provide meaningful feedback and tips for practicing. Emphasis on tone and creating an appropriate and nuanced sound are always at the forefront, reminding us of why we make certain musical decisions. Micah truly cultivates a sense of community and encouragement amongst his students, and I always feel comfortable reaching out to him for his thoughts." - Emily Tarantino, CMU Graduate

"CMU has it all: outstanding and supportive faculty, talented and driven students, easy access to one of the world's top symphonies, and great facilities, all on a truly breathtaking campus." - Ted Merritt, Double Bass, Utah Symphony Orchestra; CMU Graduate

"The opportunity to study with Micah Howard has really been life-changing. Micah is more than just a world-class musician, he is also a devoted educator that has spent a lot of time refining the craft of teaching. His incredibly high musical standards have been invaluable to me, and his personalized teaching style raises his students to meet them! The CMU bass studio is a nurturing yet competitive environment, and Micah recognizes how important this community is for self-growth. I owe so much of my success to the discipline and tenacity Micah has inspired in me. Go take a lesson with him, see how amazing he is for yourself!" - Riley Zimmermann, International Society of Bassists, Orchestral Competion 2018, First Place Winner; Double Bass, Sarasota Opera; CMU Graduate

"I have studied with Micah for nearly three years now, and I can safely say my bass playing and overall musicianship would not be what it is today were it not for his teaching. As a bassist, Micah brings passion and firm devotion to his craft, and those traits are evident in his teaching as well - one can hardly sit through a lesson with him and not leave with a desire to work hard and improve. He is very knowledgable about the double bass and the orchestral repertoire, and eagerly shares that knowledge with all of his students, earnestly desiring their success as people and musicians." - Patrick Spallinger, CMU Advanced Music Studies Student

"Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh have been very supportive and inspiring communities for me. Having an incredible, world-class orchestra with an awesome bass section like the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra basically down the street was a great experience and learning opportunity. Getting to play for many of the PSO bassists in lessons and classes were highlights of my time at CMU, not to mention all the great musicians that came through to give masterclasses and recitals." - Cory Palmer, Principal Bass, Rochester Philharmonic; CMU Graduate

"Studying bass at Carnegie Mellon University was a truly transformative experience for me. Being mentored by world-class musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in an inspiring and supportive community allowed me to develop greatly and provided me with many opportunities." - Joel Reist, Principal Bass, Nashville Symphony Orchestra; CMU Graduate