Trained as a music educator, Arthur J. Michaels started composing at the age of 13. Earning a bachelor's degree in music from the Eastman School of Music, he attained a master of arts degree in teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. He taught instrumental music in public schools in New York and New Jersey. Since 1978, Mr. Michaels has published concert band, orchestral, and instrumental ensemble pieces.
“Many different kinds of music influence my composing, including lots of classical music: Bach, Handel, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Gershwin, Bernstein, and many more composers; Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, Bock & Harnick; popular music and classic rock of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, some 1990s, some 2000s; some country music; some opera; and musicals including My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Fiorello, Pacific Overtures, South Pacific, The King and I, Chicago, The Wiz, Mame, A Chorus Line, Pippin, West Side Story, and Oklahoma,” Michaels says.
Prepared as a music educator in his formal training, Mr. Michaels tries to infuse his music with educational value. For this reason, the director/program notes prepared for most of his pieces include suggestions for individual and ensemble musical lessons that directors can glean from the music. The titles of many of his works also reflect this educational leaning.