For over 15 years Matthew Burtner developed a teaching methodology rooted in creative and experiential learning, emphasizing the search for knowledge through listening, imagining, and technological and embodied engagement with the environment. Along with an active professional concert and sound artist career, he maintains a full-time professorship at the University of Virginia.

As a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Burtner helped design and implement the Program in Composition and Computer Technologies (CCT) and with his colleagues build a thriving music technology and composition program. He teaches courses in composition, interactive media, computer music, multimedia and ecoacoustics. In addition to PhD seminars and advanced undergraduate courses, Burtner created an unprecedented 300-person non-major course in Digital Sound Art Composition called Technosonics. Primary Advisor for the PhD Dissertations of Peter Swendsen, Aurie HsuLanier Sammons, Erik DeLuca and Sarah O’Halloran, he also advises all the UVA CCT PhD students. His undergraduate students go on to careers in the music, technology and multimedia industries, or into a myriad of interdisciplinary fields involving sound.

At UVA Burtner is Co-Director of the Coastal Futures Conservatory. He has served as Chair of the Department a Teaching+Technology Initiative Fellow, a Fellow in the Institute for the Humanities and Global Cultures, a Rodman teaching fellow in the Engineering School, and a professor on Semester at Sea. As a Doctoral Teaching Fellow at Stanford University he received the university-wide GTA Teaching Award. At Stanford he was the teaching assistant to Brian Ferneyhough, Max Mathews and  Jonathan Berger in the Department of Music and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). 

As a visiting composer-in-residence, Burtner often gives master-classes, seminars and private lessons. He conducted major Residencies at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS) Conservatory of the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Washington Bothel, the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and the Musikene Conservatory in San Sebastian, Spain. Short-term academic visits/talks include Harvard University, Cornel University, Tulane University, Bangkok University International CollegeYokohama Japan City University, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Qinghai Nationalities University (China)Mansfield University, University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Louisiana State University, Lhasa Tibet University, University of Birmingham (UK), University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Montreal, Lulea Institute of Technology (Sweden),  University of Doncaster (UK), University of Hull (UK), SRM University (India), IRCAM (France), University of Montana, University of North Carolina Greensboro, University of California Santa Cruz, the Sydney University of Technology (Australia) and University of North Carolina Asheville.

“Dr. Burtner’s residency was one of the most inspiring, informative, and rewarding experiences of my professional life and that of my colleagues. …Our University has very few opportunities for such a residency and I cannot adequately express how profoundly Matthew Burtner has impacted the music program at UW Green Bay.  The faculty has been reinvigorated by his genius, attitude, work ethic, and creativity. The students have had an opportunity to explore a genre of music not typically available in our curriculum.  And, to work with the composer of the music they are studying was a truly formative experience. Dr. Burtner was kind, generous, and helpful throughout the entire planning process through to the end of the residency.”
- Dr. Cheryl Grosso, Chair, Arts & Visual Design and Frankenthal Professor of Music, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

With his students, Dr. Burtner has traveled to explore the sound and music of places like Trinidad, Alaska, Namibia, India, Japan, South Africa and Tibet. He created the EcoSono Institute, a course of study combining ecoacoustics, composition and travel through EcoSono.