David Charles teaches in the School of Music, the College of Letters and Science, the American Studies Program, and through Extended University at Montana State University. He had his first professional experience as an organist, choir director, and freelance pianist in South Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in composition and theory from the University of South Carolina, where he studied jazz piano and composition with Bert Ligon, composition with Dick Goodwin, and piano with John Williams. He earned a Master of Music degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied under Stephen Slawek (who is an acknowledged disciple of the late Ravi Shankar) and Gerard Béhague. While at UT, he also studied composition with Donald Grantham and was the keyboardist for the Afropop band Easy Motion Tourist. In and around Bozeman, he has performed with Nathan Anderson, Kelly Berdahl, Susan Dickerson, Jake Fleming, Mike Gillan, Adam Greenberg, Jake Koelzer, Sean Lehmann, Kelly Roberti, Leif Routman, Eddie Tsuru, Lenny Woodward, and many others. He has taught piano privately to young people and adults since 1997 and continues to perform locally in a variety of contexts.