Kevin C. Costley, Ph.D.

Music Biography

Dr. Kevin Costley holds several graduate degrees in the areas of curriculum and instruction and piano pedagogy/literature, including a Ph.D. from Kansas State University. At the age of 27, he was distinguished as one of K-States youngest doctors. For nearly two decades, he was owner/director of the Keyboard Academy, specializing in small group instruction. 

     Beginning in 1995, Dr. Costley became a standing faculty member at Inspiration Point Piano and String Camp (Eureka Springs, Arkansas). At the summer camp, his primary focus is in teaching six-piano ensemble classes and piano composition. He is an exclusive/major writer for the FJH Music Company of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is published nationally and internationally with FJH. He is a contributing writer in the Helen Marlais Succeeding at the Piano method and The All-in-One Approach. Costley consistently has been listed on the National Piano Federation list and other state audition lists. He has been recognized by the Conservatory of Music and California Certificate of Merit list for his popular Composer in Focus books.  

     Costley began playing by ear as a young child. He finally found a piano teacher who encouraged the development of his ear and taught him how to read music. At a very young age, he was church pianist.  Little did he know he would be a published composer someday! 

     Costley’s creative music has received positive critical reviews in leading national music journal publications. In 2008, he was awarded the  Arkansas Traveler’s Award from the governor and commissioner of Arkansas in recognition of his distinguished accomplishments in piano composition. Costley is recently retired from teaching at Arkansas Tech University, and has relocated back home to the Joplin, Missouri area. He also serves frequently as clinician for piano workshops, adjudicates numerous state, regional, and national/international composition contests, and judges many spring piano regional festivals, guild auditions, and piano competitions.  

    Because Costley began playing for church services at the age of ten years old, he is still a proud and shameless defender of hymns; thus, he released a full length studio album in 2004 titled, “Back to the Hymns” dedicated to his late paternal grandmother, Leota Costley, who loved the hymns. In October 2014, Costley released his extensive twenty-five song Christmas album, "It's Christmas!". He remains grateful to his father and mother for constantly encouraging and promoting his musical talents.

Watch video below of Kevin recalling his beginnings of playing the piano for church services at the age of ten. 

Watch video below of Kevin's mother, Helen telling her side of the story of his beginnings. 

In 2011, Costley celebrated his silver anniversary with his wife, Dana. He is the father of two grown children, Benjamin (percussionist) and Victoria (pianist) who are two talented musicians. He and his wife are new and happy Grandparents of their first Grandchild, Caroline.