top of page

2022 Sessions

Keynote - Redefining Success: A Vision for the Future

Jared Cassedy

The pandemic has surely placed a direct spotlight on so many aspects of our music programs and on us, both as teachers and as human beings.  What lessons are we continuing to learn through this challenging time and how might we use these lessons to shape and redefine our roles, the goals of music-making, and what matters most for our students and ourselves?  A vision for the future is a vision to make sustainable and meaningful change in the midst of what can seem like an ever-changing world. 

Jared Cassedy is the K-12 Performing Arts Coordinator for the Lexington Public School System in Lexington, Massachusetts where he supports, supervises, and evaluates the department’s teachers, curriculum and assessment development, and performing arts programming.  Along with his administrative responsibilities he conducts the most advanced concert band, the LHS Wind Ensemble.   Jared is the 2015 recipient of  the prestigious GRAMMY Music Educator Award furnished by the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy having been selected out of a pool of almost 10,000 nominees nationwide.  He is currently the Chairperson for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Northeastern District and also served as President-Elect for the New Hampshire Music Educators Association (NHMEA) before coming to Massachusetts.      

In 2005, Jared began his career as a music teacher at Windham Middle School, in Windham, NH and was appointed as the first Director of Bands for the newly constructed Windham High School directing all instrumental ensembles in 2009.  Until 2016, Jared held the position as Director of K-12 Fine Arts responsible for the supervision and evaluation of teachers as well as the development of curriculum for the music, visual arts, technical arts, and FACS programs while also maintaining his position as the high school Director of Bands.  From 2016 to 2018 Jared spent two years working as the first Director of K-12 Performing Arts for the Salem School District in New Hampshire (his alma mater) where he helped to define, develop, and strengthen the department’s capacity through curriculum and assessment development, collaboration, teacher supervision and effectiveness, and district-wide programming.

Jared’s continued collaboration with his students and colleagues has enabled his ensembles to be selected to participate in a myriad of national performances and festivals in New York City (National Band and Orchestra Festival at Carnegie Hall and the New York Wind Band Festival at Carnegie Hall), Chicago (Festival of Gold), and at the Bands of America (BOA) National Band Festival sponsored by Music for All and Yamaha in Indianapolis.  His ensembles have also been selected to perform at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference and for the Mayor of Quebec City and Governor of Montreal.  

In 2011 the New Hampshire Band Directors Association honored Jared with the “Outstanding Young Band Director of the Year Award.”  He was also nominated for New Hampshire Teacher of the Year in 2014.

Jared is also the conductor of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School’s Jr. Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, a position he has held since 2016 where he works with students within the Greater Boston area who rehearse and perform actively throughout the school year.  Previous to this, Jared was the director of the NH Youth Wind Ensemble.  He has conducted a myriad of regional honor bands across all states in New England, has given a variety of lectures on leadership and best practices in teaching including including a presentation at the 75th Annual International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and has participated in TEDx talking about his journey and philosophies through education.  In 2011 the New Hampshire Band Directors Association honored Jared with the “Outstanding Young Band Director of the Year Award” and was also nominated for New Hampshire Teacher of the Year in 2014.  Jared graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire – Durham where he received his Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education and has a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Educational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University.  He is a member of NAfME, MMEA, NBA, and ASCD, and the prestigious Pi Lambda Theta Education Honors Society

Promoting Individual Musicianship Through Songwriting

Dr. Mark C. Adams

Songwriting has been widely recognized as a useful tool for releasing and controlling emotions, a method for self-expression, as well as an avenue for life-long engagements with music. Courses incorporating songwriting offer a unique classroom environment that engages students on deep and personal levels, which may be enticing for many (including those who do not typically find a “home” in a school band, choir, or orchestra). That said, teachers of songwriting often have concerns about designing strong and authentic lesson plans, particularly when students write at varying skill levels and represent a vast world of musical genres.


This session will explore methods for bringing songwriting into secondary music classrooms. Attendees will learn how to incorporate songwriting in their own setting—whether as a standalone course, an extracurricular activity, or a unit/project that complements and enriches other classroom activities—through an exploration of strong and authentic songwriting lesson design that encourages individual musicianship. Attendees will also participate in acts of collaborative songwriting and reflect on the experience together.

Dr. Mark C. Adams is the Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education at the University of Delaware, where he teaches courses in music education, songwriting, and graduate research methods. Mark earned a Ph.D. in Music Education from Michigan State University in 2017, where he also served as a Graduate Fellow at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. He also holds a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music in Education degrees from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Dr. Adams’ writing has appeared in Music Educators Journal, The Oxford Handbook of Preservice Music Teacher Education in the United States, and the second edition of Engaging Musical Practices: A Sourcebook for Middle School General Music.

Incorporating Finger Style Guitar into the Beginning Guitar Curriculum

Eric Bushey

This session would explain how to incorporate a variety of guitar 'finger style' techniques into a beginning guitar curriculum. Exercises and examples of both "travis style" and "hybrid picking" will be demonstrated and I will show how they can be incorporated into a beginning guitar curriculum. I have found over many years of teaching this class at BFA St. Albans that this is one of the most popular and productive units I teach. It helps to solidify the Performance aspect of this class while also engaging those students who feel overwhelmed by the rigors of reading notated guitar music. This session will include examples on how to systematically teach "travis style" finger picking. Bringing your own guitar to this session is encouraged as I will walk you through the process I use to teach my beginners. I will also share materials including exercises and many of the songs I have found success using with beginning guitarists. Towards the end of the session I will touch on "hybrid picking" and the many uses of that style of playing. This session will be focused on high school and older middle school age levels. Participants are encouraged to attend with their guitars.

A native of Swanton, Vermont, Eric Bushey is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Music Education and Plymouth State University where he received a Masters in Instrumental Music Education. He has been the director of instrumental music at BFA, St. Albans since 1996 and was previously the Band Director at Waterbury Elementary School from 1993-1996. During his time at BFA time he has been responsible for Bands 1, 2, & 3, Beginning Guitar Class, Music Theory, String Orchestra, Jazz Band, Pit Orchestra, and Marching Band. Eric was voted the BFA “Teacher of the Year” in 2001.


As the director of instrumental music at BFA, Bushey has created a vibrant Beginning Guitar Curriculum where he is able to teach students in one semester guitar techniques that help to keep them playing for a lifetime. Students from this class have gone on to both enjoy the guitar casually and even, in a couple of cases, major in guitar performance at both UVM and the Berklee School of Music. Bushey has also brought back the String Orchestra to BFA. This ensemble was last a part of the school’s curriculum before World War II. Students with previous string experience coupled with beginners have made this ensemble nearly double in size in the past two years. A strong foundation of string training basics has been the focus and the success of this ensemble.


Eric has been featured as a saxophone soloist with the Vermont Wind Ensemble and the UVM Concert Band. He has performed with the Bach Wind Philharmonia, the Vermont Symphonic Winds, the UVM Saxophone Quartet, the Generation Sax Quartet, Sterling Weed’s Imperial Orchestra, the Swingin’ Vermont Big Band and several other Concert Bands and big bands throughout the state. Eric has performed on jazz, and funk guitar in the Nouveau Jazztet and Pushback quartet. His latest musical projects include The Stragglers and the Blue Rock Boys where he has focused on electric guitar and tenor and 5-string Banjos. He currently resides in Underhill, VT with his wife Aimee and children Noah and Ella.

Jazzed Up!

Dr. Daniel Carberg

This session will focus on how to approach a jazz piece, musically and stylistically. We will focus and apply such techniques as front phrasing and back phrasing, and incorporate improvisational tools such as scatting, blues and pentatonic scales, and altering the melody while staying true to the style. Musically we will break down the structure of a jazz standard and discuss the historical origins and developments. While I am a vocalist, this material could certainly be applied to instrumental playing. This session is designed for teachers, singers, and instrumentalists who want to jump into the jazz and blues pool and feel more comfortable and confident as a performer.

Dr. Daniel Carberg, Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Vocal Activities at Keene State College, is a tenor and an internationally renowned performer and teacher with noted appearances throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico. Carberg specializes in Early Music (Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque) and holds a Doctorate in Early Vocal Performance from Indiana University. An active soloist who also performs regularly with several small ensembles, including Zenith Ensemble, Gravitación, and Liber, Carberg was a founding member of the Concord Ensemble. Notable performances include the lead role in Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo with Opera Otago in New Zealand and St. Matthew Passion with the Orchester Wiener Akademie in Mexico City and Los Angeles. He also performed with Sting in Los Angeles. Carberg taught previously at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. He also has extensive experience and interest in art song, jazz, musical theatre, and commercial music. Carberg serves as Co-Vice President of the Collegiate Art Song/Aria Competition held by the Granite State National Association of Teachers. He is Co-Artistic Director of the St. Andrew’s Spring Sing in New Brunswick, Canada. An active clinician and adjudicator, Carberg is a leading expert in the field of Vocal Pedagogy and his YouTube series, Sing from home with Dr. Daniel Carberg is a highly successful resource for singers and voice teachers globally. As an actor, Carberg has appeared in numerous theatrical productions, films, and commercials and he is also an award-winning competitive cook.

Jazz Isn't Scary - Get Your Students Out of Their Parts and Improvising

Sam Crittenden

This session will demonstrate a streamlined approach to teaching music in the classroom that gets students out of their parts and into the music. Together, we will learn the four Building Blocks of a Song - Groove, Melody, Bass Line, and Harmony - which allow any class to create a more unique and personal arrangement together. This interactive clinic full of stomps, claps, and singing, will give you tools to engage and inspire your students. Instruments welcome!

A great barrier to students digging deeper into the Artistic Process is that they simply don’t know where to start. How is a student supposed to play (or recognize) an expressive melody if they’ve spent their entire time in band class playing whole notes and upbeats? How is a young drummer supposed to stay engaged in the music if the only thing they’re listening for is the sound of their own drum? The four Building Blocks are a clarifying lens through which educators and students can listen, perform, and interpret music - touching upon all four Standards.

The GROOVE gives students the foundation to PERFORM while at the same time giving opportunities to RESPOND. Where did this Groove come from? What function was this GROOVE designed for? How does it make you feel? Is it a march? Is it dancey, sad, or frantic? What insight does this give in regards to our own performance? The MELODY adds an element of CREATION as well. What did the GROOVE tell us about the function of this song? How can we PERFORM the MELODY in a way that compliments this function? Are there lyrics to this song that give clues to the composer and performer’s intent? How can YOU express yourself - CREATE your own version of the melody - to fit both your own voice and the voice of the song? The BASS LINE and HARMONY provide more textures with which to CREATE. What would be an appropriate instrument or section to play this song? Can we CREATE a background part using the HARMONY that adds to the expressiveness of our melody?

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Sam Crittenden quickly established himself in New York City as an educator, arranger, and trombonist. “Tall Sam” has spent the last decade building educational curricula with Sammy Miller and The Congregation, reaching over 60,000 students in 350 schools. He has worked with Jon Batiste and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People and Webop programs. He now serves as the Director of Education for Playbook®.

Behavior Management: Content Analysis of Articles from MEJ

Christian Giddings

We all know behavior management in a music classroom is unique. This session investigates articles related to classroom management to determine common strategies used among music educators. A total of 30 articles from MEJ relating to classroom management are listed, explored, and twelve strategies were found in common among all the articles. I will share with you both the list of twelve strategies as well as provide a detailed bibliography of the 30 articles. We will then engage in a discussion about classroom management in the music classroom and how best to apply these strategies in our teaching.

Christian Giddings is a conductor, composer, and music educator from Unity, Maine. He holds a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, and both an M.M. and B.M. in Music Education from the University of Maine. He is a passionate educator and conductor and has worked with ensembles of all ages and ability levels. Christian is also in high demand as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, and presenter having presented at state conferences in Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and internationally in Ireland and Portugal. Christian is the Co-founder of Choir Unlimited - a choral music publisher specializing in publishing digital copies of choral music. Currently, Christian is the music director of the CODA Chorus in Winthrop, Maine, and music teacher at Deering High School in Portland, Maine.

Cultural Responsiveness and Student Choice in Music Education

Tony Sauza

As music educators continue to find ways to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in their music classrooms, it is increasingly important to empower students to make repertoire choices connected to their musical identities. This interactive session will feature ways that teachers can democratize their music classrooms by allowing students to take leadership roles in the selection of popular music songs for creating, performing, responding, and connecting.

Tony Sauza taught secondary music in Los Angeles before joining the music ed non profit, Little Kids Rock. He is the Associate Director of Teaching and Learning where he oversees the training department and various curricular projects.  Tony received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Ethnomusicology and earned his California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music in 2010 along with his masters degree in Afro-Latin Music from California State University Los Angeles in 2012.  He loves music from around the world, and is a firm believer in recreational music making, music therapy and has a deep passion for Afro-Caribbean music. 

Exploring the Modern Band Method

Sara Lewis & Dr. Scott Burstein

This session will explore the new Modern Band Method series by Little Kids Rock and Hal Leonard, the first method for teaching full-class popular music ensembles. This series provides a guided lesson plan for the absolute beginner, complete with audio tracks, video lessons, and many popular songs by the biggest musical artists of the day. Each book is filled with instruction in composition, improvisation, music theory, instrumental technique, and works in tandem with the other books in the series so all students can learn and play music together in the same full band.

Sara Lewis is a K-8 General Music Teacher in the Northeast Kingdom of VT. Before teaching here she was a singer/songwriter, performer and piano teacher in NYC for 7 years. She moved to VT in 2017 and specializes in the Modern Band method, per the pedagogy of the Little Kids Rock Curriculum. She creates mini "rock bands" within ALL of her classes, K-8, allowing lots of room for students to choose the instruments they play each class as well as the songs that are worked on. It is a fabulous method that creates a ton of enthusiasm and buy-in, even amongst jaded middle schoolers.

Dr. Scott Burstein is the National Director of Teaching and Learning for the non-profit Little Kids Rock. His duties include managing Little Kids Rock’s musical content, curriculum, and professional development. He previously taught 12 years of public high school in Los Angeles, with subjects ranging from Marching Band to AP Music Theory. Scott studied music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Eastman School of Music, and received his DMA in Music Education at the University of Southern California. While primarily a guitarist, he has performed on a variety of instruments in the fields of classical music and jazz.

Online Learning Strategies with Modern Band

Dr. Warren Gramm

This session will identify and demonstrate how teachers can make music in a digital space using a combination of engaging activities and music production software. Participants will leave with basic knowledge of modern band skills, music as a second language pedagogy, and how to compose and record using a DAW to create student-centered musical experiences.

Sing Your Own Song!

Betsy Greene

Student-created music traditionally known as improvisation and composition are the highest order of thinking for musicians. Getting students to be able to create independently and confidently while building musicianship has always been a challenge. In this session, learn how to develop the skills for student-created music through the Feierabend Approach. Techniques, sequential steps, and new classroom ready activities will be presented featuring My Voice is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen.

As described by NAfME, the National Music Standards 2014 are “designed to cultivate the student’s ability to carry out the three Artistic Processes of Creating, Performing and Responding." The Feierabend Approach develops and supports all of the artistic processes.

National Music Standards 2014 specific to the handout or activities:
Create: Imagine MU:Cr1.1; Plan and Make MU:Cr2.1.2. a and b; Evaluate and Refine 3.1;
Present 3.2
Perform: Analyze MU:Pr4.2; Interpret MU:Pr4.3; Present MU.Pr6.1
Respond: Analyze MU:R7.2; Interpret MU:R8.1


Betsy Greene lives and teaches in Burlington, Vermont where she is the music teacher and choral director for Champlain Elementary School (K-5). Betsy earned her undergraduate degree in music education from the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) and her Master’s Degree in Music Education under Dr. John Feierabend from the former Hartt School of Music (currently the Hartt School, University of Hartford, CT). She holds her Kodály certification from the Hartt School and her Orff-Schulwerk Levels I-III from the University of St. Thomas. In 1998, she received the Outstanding Arts Advocate Award from the past Vermont Arts Alliance and, then in 2008, the Music Educator of the Year Award from the Vermont Music Educators Association. Betsy is a founding member of the Feierabend Association for Music Education (FAME) and is currently serving as Immediate Past-President. As a FAME Endorsed Teacher Trainer for both First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege, she is a frequent presenter of workshops and graduate courses for both as well as for integrating the Feierabend Approach with Orff-Schulwerk. She is a co-author for First Steps in Music with Orff Schulwerk: Sing, Say, Dance, Play (GIA Publications, 2017) and a contributing author for the Feierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosophy, and Practice (GIA Publications, 2018). In her spare time, Betsy enjoys performing with the Hinesburg Artist Series and community band, playing ice hockey in the winter, and boating on scenic Lake Champlain in the summer.

Discovering Our Why: Coaching Tools for the Music Educator

Ashley Hall

As music educators, we are always thinking about creative ways to raise the intrinsic motivation of our students and to empower them to discover their own answers. In this highly interactive clinic, come experience coaching tools firsthand that you can immediately use in your own classrooms to inspire creativity and help students align their values to their music making. Through coaching skills like values visualizations and powerful questioning, you’ll leave this session with tools for helping your students feel connected to their why while engaging with the National Core Arts Standards of creating, performing, responding and connecting feel from deeper place of agency, commitment, and personal connection.

Ashley Hall is a professional trumpeter, music educator, and life coach. Whether she is performing as principal trumpet with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, presenting interactive recitals around the world, making music with her family at home, or helping artists discover their why, Ashley is committed to a whole-hearted approach to music making and music education.

As the manager of Longy School of Music of Bard College’s career coaching program, Ashley helps students align their values and passions with their musical pursuits. She hosts Longy’s “The Multifaceted Career,” a weekly speaker series featuring artists who embody an expansive, integrated narrative of holistic career success. Ashley is also a trumpet faculty member at Longy, combining her passion for personal development with a methodical approach to technical and artistic growth.

Ashley is an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation. Her coaching workshops introduce skills that empower the participant to better understand themselves and provide tools to unlock their potential. In addition to group workshops, Ashley provides individual coaching to musicians from around the world through The Multifaceted Musician, Longy’s external coaching practice. For more information, please visit

Gaining Community Support to Advocate for your Music Program in the New Normal

Lisa Michaels and Peter Van Duzer

Parents and community members have real clout when it comes to advocacy. Once they see the research from around the world that music makes kids smarter, they’ll be ready to help promote the importance of music programs and the increasingly critical role they play in preparing our students for the future, not to mention how they enhance the school experience academically and socially. Learn how to use the community to advocate for your program in an environment that just can’t believe the data. Presented by experienced music education advocates (and music parents), this workshop discusses ways to engage parents to create a supportive community around your music program. It addresses different approaches to relationship-building, information sharing and utilizing parent support. Attendees will leave with the tools they need to reinvigorate their music program in the new normal, and build back better!

Lisa Michaels and Peter Van Duzer are the founders of Bandology, a proud Canadian non-profit promoting music education advocacy.They are passionate about the value of music and its benefits, becoming engaged in the greater music community while serving on an Association of Music Parents at a local high school. This passion was the inspiration for Bandology, which was founded in 2017. Since then, they have hosted five annual Band Camps serving both teens and children aged 6-11, presented at music conferences in Canada and abroad (?) and advocated for music education at both a local and provincial level.

Musician Political Voice in the Secondary General Music Classroom

Christy Papandrea

Musicians have been using music as a way to comment on political and social issues for decades. In this session, I will explore how secondary general music educators can consider musician political voice in the classroom. Drawing upon music theory, the socio-cultural, and historical aspects of music education, the project presented here focuses on four examples of musical artists who have used their music as a form of political commentary. In addition to discussing the rationale and purpose for engaging in such discussions in the music classroom, daily lesson plans and activities will be outlined to show how students can learn about global topics and issues while still learning musical concepts and devices.

Christy Papandrea is the music educator at Proctor Jr. – Sr. High School. She received her Bachelor’s degree in music education at Castleton University, her Master’s in music education with an emphasis in instrumental conducting at The Hartt School of Music, and is currently working toward her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Music Education at Boston University. Christy is the past-president for Green Mountain Music District V, has a flute studio at Castleton University in addition to her own private studio, and has published with National Federation of High Schools and Vermont Music Educators Association.

Music Educators reflect on teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Patricia Riley, VMEA Research Chair & Jodi Sanders

This Research Session Panel Discussion will include a summary of research conducted regarding teaching music during the COVID-19 pandemic and presentations by Vermont music educators who teach in a variety of settings. The panel will discuss what the most pressing challenges in their settings were and how they responded, any silver linings, and lessons learned that they will take with them into post-pandemic teaching. Panel members will include Randy Argraves, Instrumental Music, Winooski High School; Tim Buckingham, Middle School Instrumental Music, Shelbourne Community School; Patricia Riley, The University of Vermont, and others. The panelists all regularly implement the National Core Arts Standards in their teaching and will address the effects of the pandemic on this implementation during the discussion.

Patricia Riley (, D.M.A. is Professor and Coordinator of the Music Education Program at the University of Vermont. Prior to this, she taught at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam. Previously, Dr. Riley taught instrumental, general, and choral music for twenty years in the public schools of New Jersey and Vermont; and for five years maintained a woodwind and brass studio at Green Mountain College. Her publishing includes the book, Creating Music: What Children from Around the World Can Teach Us. She has also published articles in Music Education Research, Research and Issues in Music Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Visions of Research in Music Education, Journal of Technology in Music Learning, College Music Symposium, Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music, General Music Today, and The Vermont Music Educator; and has contributed numerous chapters to edited books and symposium proceedings. Dr. Riley is a frequent presenter of sessions at international, national, regional, and state conferences. Her research interests include student music composition, cultural studies, technology, and assessment.

Exploration in the Beginner Private Lesson

Hollyn Slykhuis

This session will be an opportunity for educators to reflect upon how we structure and approach the beginner private lesson setting, and perhaps allow for some revitalization and reimagining in that space. We will use this session to share our toolkit of techniques with one another, as well as participate in an interactive demonstration of student-centered approaches such as creative composition and transcription. I believe in an exploration-centered lesson approach, especially with young students, and this session will provide examples from my own teaching as well as space for suggestions, ideas, and questions from the participants. We will begin by discussing why this student-centered, exploration-based approach is useful, important, and relevant. Participants will then engage in hands-on practice and demonstration of real-world examples that they could replicate in their teaching. After the activities, we will come together to reflect and share with one another, adding to everyone’s “bag of tricks” for the private lesson setting. Finally, we will have space for any questions, clarifications, comments, or feedback to conclude the session.

Hollyn Slykhuis is a trumpet player and music educator forging a career as an advocate for historically underrepresented voices in music and music education. Her work commissioning and premiering new works by women has been featured on I Care if You Listen. She is also the Co-Founder of the Chroma Collective and Assistant Production Manager of Diversify the Stand.

Passionate about making music education available to all, Ms. Slykhuis has maintained a private trumpet studio for several years, instructed group and private trumpet lessons at multiple El Sistema programs across the nation, worked with the YOLA program run by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, taught music abroad in Chile, and designed and implemented a music curriculum for students with exceptionalities as the Music Director for the LSU Prism Project.

Hollyn graduated summa cum laude with College Honors from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree, and is a certified K-12 music educator. She studied with Brian Shaw and Matthew Vangjel. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Music in Trumpet Performance as a Teaching Assistant at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA and studies with Ashley Hall.

First Aid for the Instrumental Rehearsal

Jordan Randall Smith

Seasoned directors and emerging professionals alike will go "back to basics" and explore the fundamentals of rehearsal strategy through a simple five-step system modeled after a typical doctor’s visit. Participants will learn to run tests, detect, diagnose, and prescribe the proper “medicine” for a happy, healthy ensemble sound.

Session Objectives:
1. Participants will explore the 5 step “first aid” process for effective rehearsal technique.
2. Participants will be able to go deeper on areas of interest via a handout containing a variety of tools and methods, including a link with additional resources.
3. Participants will be empowered to immediately utilize “shovel ready” techniques with little or no additional preparation, as well as bookmark areas for personal study and growth.

Jordan Randall Smith is the Director of Orchestras at Susquehanna University, Music Director of Symphony Number One (2019 American Prize Winner), and Creative Director of the International Florence Price Festival. Jordan's leadership of Mahler's fourth symphony was praised by the Baltimore Sun: "The third movement, in particular, was quite sensitively molded." Conductor Alan Gilbert called Jordan’s conducting, “impressive.”

A former Bruno Walter Fellow at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Smith recently received 2nd Place in the 2019 American Prize in Conducting. He has recorded four critically-acclaimed albums and led over 50 world premieres. 

Smith has mentored hundreds of young musicians across the country as a conductor of youth orchestras and is in demand as a clinician for school orchestras. A Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in Conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, Jordan studied with Gustav Meier and Marin Alsop. Jordan gave a TED Talk at TEDxMidatlantic 2017 and is a contributor to Baltimore Magazine.

Music Fundamentals - How to Engage Students with out of the Box Activities!

Dr. Heidi Welch and Danielle Solomon

Danielle and Heidi will treat you to many ideas that you can recreate yourself with limited resources and a little DIY innovation. We will share some tried and true classroom activities to engage your students in learning the basics of music theory which will engage and inspire movement, activity, growth, and learning in any classroom. We will demonstrate ways to engage students in learning pitches, simple rhythm, major and minor scales, and the circle of 5ths with Lego, fidget spinners, whiteboards, floor keyboards, musical dice and boomwhackers (and some other items!)

Dr. Heidi Welch is the Director of Music Education and serves as the advisor to the NAfME Collegiate chapter at Castleton University. In addition to her work at the University, Dr. Welch currently serves as Immediate Past-President of NHMEA; NAfME Collegiate Coordinator for VMEA; and is a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY). She also served as recording secretary for NHBDA for many years. She is the 2013 NH Teacher of the Year and a 2013 finalist for National Teacher of the Year and is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor throughout NH. She is also the long-time musical director for the Hillcat Summer Theater program in Hillsboro, NH.

Prior to joining the Castleton Family in 2019, Dr. Welch was the sole Music Director at Hillsboro-Deering High School in Hillsboro, NH for 20 years teaching band, chorus, guitar, music theory, and other elective courses in music. Prior to that, she taught K-5 general music, beginner band, and elementary chorus in Claremont, NH. She has also taught as an adjunct at Keene State College teaching Intro to Music Education courses, and facilitated music student teachers placements for Ithaca College.

Danielle Solomon is a junior music education major at Castleton University. She serves as the treasurer for our collegiate ACDA and our cNAfME organizations as well as an assistant director for our CU Spirit Band Ensemble. Additionally, she is the T/A in the Fundamentals of Music class.

Storytelling in the Elementary Music Classroom

Greg Wilfrid

The aural tradition of storytelling has tied together generations of families for centuries. Today's culture does not always nurture this folk art, but the elementary general music classroom is the perfect environment to cultivate a love of sharing stories. By engaging classrooms in childlike (not childish) storytelling, students can grow into a revival of this tradition. This session will demonstrate how to ease through transitions through storytelling, increasing student engagement and nurturing their imaginations. It will also demonstrate a unit on student-created soundtracks to children's literature using Soundtrap/Garageband/Soundation.

Greg Wilfrid teaches Elementary General Music, Choir, and Jazz Band at Toffolon Elementary in Plainville, CT, where he also directs the Plainville Choral Society, an adult community chorus. He received his B.M, M.M., and Kódaly certification from the Hartt School of Music. He presides on the board as Past President for the Kódaly Educators of Southern New England (KESNE). He performs regularly around the northeast with other music teachers in The Jolly Beggars, a traditional Celtic folk band, as well as a solo traditional folk/singer-songwriter. He has presented in sessions at music conferences at the collegiate, state, regional, and national levels, on topics such as the first year of teaching, storytelling/improvisation in the classroom, and using traditional folk music in the elementary music classroom.

Music for Mental Health: How a Brain-Balanced Approach Creates the Best Student Outcomes

Allison Wilkinson

Applied music psychology is a very young field. When Paul Farnsworth published the first book on the social psychology of music in 1954, he probably didn’t imagine it would take until 1997 for this discipline to be truly established as a legitimate line of research. There is a world of new information that simply wasn’t available even 25 years ago, and the implications of this new knowledge for music education is nothing short of revolutionary.
In this session, you will be introduced to the basics of the brain, how this new science changes the way that we should approach our students, and learn to apply this new science to your curriculums to create brain-balanced lesson plans.

Allison Wilkinson is the CEO and Founder of the I Am School of Music and the Making Musicians Training Program. Each year, she teaches the tools of Applied Music Psychology to music educators from around the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between. A veteran teacher with more than 15,000 hours of direct teaching and many more in research, Allison is also the mother of four children and the favorite aunt of twelve more.

Mentoring Towards Culturally Responsive Practices

Dr. Erin Zaffini

Many early career music teachers are not trained in culturally responsive pedagogy within their teacher education programs. Similarly, their assigned mentors might also need development in this area as well. This session will focus on how mentors can successfully mentor their mentees to become more culturally responsive in the classroom by addressing hidden curriculum commonly encountered when striving to allow preK-12 students to meet the National Core Arts Standards.

Dr. Erin Zaffini (DMA, Boston University) is the Director of Teacher Education for the fully online and on-campus Master of Music in Music Education programs at Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. Prior to coming to Longy, she has served as music education faculty for Kent State University and Keene State College, where she supervised student teachers, master's-level research and curricular projects, and taught undergraduate music courses in general music education, early childhood music, music curriculum and assessment, and adaptive music. In addition, Dr. Zaffini is also a faculty member for the University of New Hampshire’s Professional Development Department, where she teaches in-service teachers how to integrate music and movement into their classroom, as well as teaches Early Childhood Music and Movement. Up until this current school year, Erin taught K-5 general, vocal and instrumental music in New Hampshire. Prior to moving to New England, Erin taught preK-8 general music, choral music, instrumental music, hand bell ensemble, and musical theater in Philadelphia and surrounding communities. She is an active clinician around the country, serves as the Eastern Division Representative for NAfME’s General Music Council, is the Collegiate Coordinator, General Music Chair and Mentor Program Coordinator for the New Hampshire Music Educators Association, and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Music Educators Journal. Dr. Zaffini is the project leader for instituting music educator mentor training within the Society for Music Teacher Education and the National Association for Music Education. She is the recipient of the Keene State College Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Performance Awards. She has published articles in General Music Today, Music Educators Journal, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and Qualitative Research in Music Education.

bottom of page