David Kulma

David K.

Rock Hill, SC

Lesson Details



David delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:

Hi, my name is David. I'm a composer, music theory teacher, and oboist. I am a flexible, student-centered teacher, and I would love to help you with your musical goals. I can help you write better music, understand theory better, or even learn the oboe. I have a YouTube educational channel about music called Music Corner. The first episode is titled "Why C?" Click the green button to get started working with me!

Here are some of my qualifications. I currently teach as an adjunct professor at Winthrop University, where I have taught music theory, aural skills, music technology, and rock & popular music. I am also a freelance oboist in the Charlotte area. I got to play bass oboe on Holst's "The Planets" a couple of years ago with the Charlotte Symphony. I have two degrees from Kent State University: BM in Oboe Performance and MA in Music Composition.

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Educational YouTuber
Aug 2015 - Present
Music Corner

In the fall of 2015, I started making educational YouTube videos about music. Music Corner, Your source for nerdy thoughts on music, explores music theory, composition, and history in an entertaining, humorous, and informative way (influenced by CGP Grey and the Vlogbrothers' Crash Course). The channel is a way for be to bring my enthusiasm for music to as many people as possible.

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Adjunct Professor
Aug 2012 - Present
Winthrop University

I have taught a variety of academic music classes including music theory, aural skills, and introduction to music technology. I also recently created a nonmajor class in rock & popular music where the students collectively choose our weekly topics. I have also sat on music composition juries.

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Aug 2011 - Dec 2011
Chicago State University

I taught music theory and aural skills for a semester.

Graduate Assistant
Aug 2008 - May 2010
Kent State University

I taught a section of the five-day-a-week freshman music theory and ear training class. I coauthored the freshman theory textbook currently in use, How Music Works. I also taught two independent studies in analysis (one in analyzing Beatles' songs).


Master of Arts in Music Composition
Aug 2008 - Dec 2010
Kent State University
Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance
Aug 2003 - May 2007
Kent State University


Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

In this second Music Corner Breve, I explain the hemiola: a rhythmic technique that plays with groupings of 2 and 3 beats.
Here is the first episode of my educational YouTube channel about music, Music Corner.
In this second episode of Music Corner, I talk about cool chord progressions you can make with smooth voice leading.
In this third episode of Music Corner, I talk about and create music with the seven diatonic modes.
In this fourth episode of Music Corner, I talk about creating musical energy with rhythm.
I play the oboe!

I perform Robert Ashley's "Perfect Lives" with my friend Dorian Wallace.

In this fifth episode of Music Corner, I explore harmonic function through a phrase by Beethoven.
In this first Music Corner Breve, I show why breve (which means short) is the name for our longest note value.
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2 Reviews

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Hayden Aug 2, 2016
Music Theory · In studio

I have been taking music theory and music composition lessons from David for several years now, and in that time I have found that he is extremely knowledgeable about all things related to music including but not limited to composition, history, theory, and performance.

Not only is he a caring instructor, but he's genuinely interested in the subjects he teaches. It's very clear he puts his heart into what he does.

A typical lesson with David involves me first sitting down and chatting about what I would like to learn and why (he is very flexible with this). Then if I'm interested he goes into the history and application of the subject or idea before moving on to instruction.

David always begins with foundational ideas before building to more complex concepts. And my lessons typically involve thorough use of musical examples (catered to my taste) so I can see concepts in action. As a result I leave every lesson with the ability and desire to think about and apply the ideas I learned, and by the time of our next meeting I find myself genuinely excited to meet again to discuss what I learned exploring the concepts he taught me.

I was trained formally in composition in theory from Winthrop University, so I know from experience that it would be hard to match the quality of David's instruction, even in a formal institution. Not only is he friendly and approachable, but he is comfortable discussing and teaching about all types of music from Classical to Popular. If you are up front with what you would like to learn, David will make sure that what you learn is interesting and immediately relevant to you.

I honestly don't know of an instructor in the subject that I could recommend more highly.

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Matthew Aug 2, 2016
Arrangement and Composition · In studio

I can say without a doubt that my progress as a composer and musician would not be as far as it is now without Kulma's help. I have my subject listed as "Arrangement and Composition" but truthfully Kulma helped me in all areas related to music. I initially contacted him about lessons in composition. Particularly video game composition. This ended up turning into lessons into every single aspect of the music I created. He showed me how Theory related with composition. How musicianship correlates to writing music.

I should also note, that Kulma also has an uncanny ability to find new information. When I first contacted him he hadn't really helped anyone with video game composition. But through his professional contacts and research ended up teaching me things I couldn't have otherwise learned. So its safe to say if something isn't listed, there is a very good change Kulma can learn it from a professional source and then teach it to you. In this way Kulma is valuable in every aspect of music that I've come to him with. Lessons taken with Kulma will be well worth the money, I've never had a teacher who cared this much about his students. And it shows in his methods of instruction.

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