The Music and Music Education Program at Teachers College of Columbia University enabled me to pursue pedagogical activities in the public and private sectors. After being a non-degree student between September of 2004 and May of 2005, I was granted permission to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Music and Music Education in September of 2005. TC was the one and only graduate school I applied to, and at the time I applied. I identified myself as a Hispanic/American Man on my application, in that my Father was born in Puerto Rico, while my mother was born in the Dominican Republic. I have had positions as a Keyboard Instructor for a Dance Studio, an Affiliate Facilitator for a Community College, and an Executive Director for a Youth Orchestra. I am currently a Private Teacher for Classical Piano Lessons, and I am presently a member of the Committee on Cultural Inclusion for the College Music Society.
I am currently the Lower School Music Teacher at Quad Prep, an independent school in Manhattan for twice exceptional learners. Previously, I have worked as a Lower School Band Director in New Orleans, LA, a Guest Artist Instructor at a Jazz Camp in Dallas, TX, as a Pre-K and Kindergarten Music Teacher at an independent school in Manhattan, and as a Teaching Artist in District 75. I also keep a busy performing schedule as a freelance jazz trumpet player. I found that the connections I made with other TC students to be incredibly instrumental in helping me chart my path forward. I was fortunate to student teach with two amazing TC grad students and through my spring student teaching placement found out about the opening at my current position. Teachers College helped me learn to create a culturally responsive engaging curriculum, something that has allowed me to be confident teaching in many different environments.
I am currently at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, where I direct the Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble and also teach classes in Music and Music Education. I was previously the Wind Ensemble director at Columbia University, and director of the community band Columbia Summer Winds. I also taught K-5 music for 9 years in Rockland County, NY. Teachers College started me down this road and gave me the experience and credentials to become a thoughtful teacher and musician. Even as a "band" person, I think of the lessons of TC Music (e.g. constructivism, student-centered teaching, and democracy) every day.
I have been the Performing Arts Director at Saint Raphael School in Hamilton, NJ since 2013. I teach General Music, direct the school choir, band, and direct the Christmas and Spring Musicals. During my time at Saint Raphael School I have built an Instrumental Music Program, introduced the use of technology into the Music Classroom, built a state of the art piano lab and recording studio, and greatly increased the size of the school choir. I use what I learned during my time at TC every day. Whether it be introducing preschoolers to instruments, teaching middle schoolers how to write and create music using the latest technology, or using creativity to teach 3rd and 4th graders about reading music, the lessons that I learned at TC have served me extremely well in my career. Over the years I continue to use and build upon what I learned at TC as I grow as a Music Educator.
Bryant Montalvo currently serves as the founding Music teacher for a new Music program at Central Falls High School in Central Falls, Rhode Island. As an experienced educator who works with many older beginners, Bryant largely credits his studies at Teachers College, which focused on vocal pedagogy and the developing voice, for his professional success. He was previously the Secondary School Choir Director for an international school in Rome, Italy, where he coordinated multiple international choral festivals across Europe. Now back home in the States, Bryant is thrilled to have the opportunity to create a unique Music program from the ground up. In only its second year, his new program has received multiple grants and reached more than half of the student body in Central Falls, where Music education was previously unavailable. With a pedagogical foundation laid by the Music and Music Education Program at Teachers College, Bryant developed the confidence and skills needed to be successful in designing a Music program for the 21st century learner.
Caty Butler found her love of music at an early age when her mother would play the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar on repeat. Though she didn't pick up an instrument until she was 10, she performed in local theaters beginning at the age of 5. That experience helped shape her current musical career by fostering a love of performing and helping others. Caty graduated with her Bachelor's in Music Education from University of Delaware and her Master’s in Music Education from Teachers College of Columbia University. Though it was a little later than most after performing full time, she eventually found her home in the Bridgewater-Raritan School District. Now, she balances her time performing, teaching her 6th grade orchestra, and her ever growing private studio. Currently, you will find Caty living in Central Jersey where her school and studio are, but also performing regularly across the state and in NYC. She is also president of Hop, Skip, and a Jump – a class that uses music to teach students with special needs everything from manners to basic motor skills. TC helped shape her career as an educator by giving her the knowledge and tools to ensure a student centered, engaging environment. She gained confidence to promote herself through an entrepreneurship class, confidence in leading her classroom, and her passion for working with students with special needs.
I appreciated my time as a Master’s and certificate student at Teachers College, because while other programs felt remedial in terms of course requirements, TC classes met students where they were and with the experience they had as part of their ongoing growth and development as music educators. Being housed in a College of Education shifts the emphasis away from a fixation on method classes to a more holistic view of the work we do. After graduation, I taught general and instrumental music in public schools in Kansas City, London, and Seattle and am currently a doctoral student at the University of Washington. My research interests concern the expansion of music curricula and pedagogies to work towards bias reduction by way of applied ethnomusicological methods.
TC shaped me as an educator and allowed me to focus on a developmental approach to pedagogy as well as fostering creativity at all ages and skills levels of music education.
Elise Jablow (class of 2017) is a test development analyst in visual and performing arts at Pearson, where she serves as the primary in-house content expert in music. Elise works with education officials, teachers, and professors from multiple states to create standards-based test frameworks and items for teacher certification exams. Her studies at TC inform a daily laser-focus on creating content that is representative of the diversity of teacher education candidates and the future students they will serve. Prior to this work, Elise was an elementary and middle school music teacher in Springfield, MA and at Aaron School, a private special education school in NYC. In addition to her Master of Education degree from Teachers College, she holds a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from McGill University where she studied classical voice, leading her to a wide range of performance experiences as an operatic soprano. In addition to her work in assessment, Elise maintains a virtual private voice studio and is a certified yoga instructor. She resides in western Massachusetts with her husband and their dog Alvin.
Felicya Schwarzman is the Orchestra and Guitar Director at Half Hollow Hills High School East where she founded the 3rd grade string program, the High School East Guitar Program, and Cello Choir. Felicya holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Ithaca College (‘17) and a Master of Music Education with an Advanced Certificate in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Teachers College, Columbia University (‘21). In 2021, she received the SCMEA Music Educator Innovator Award. Her Guitar Ensemble performed at the 2021 NYSSMA All State Winter Conference and was recognized in the Long Island Music Hall of Fame High School Recognition program. Felicya is the President Elect of NY-ASTA Chapter where she helped found the annual NY-ASTA Cello Fest. Her experiences as a clinician include the SCMEA All County Festival, NYSSMA Summer Conference, and Universidad Sergio Arboleda. In these workshops, she discussed her passion for non-traditional methods of playing the cello and how to develop contemporary ensembles in public schools. TC helped inspire Felicya to continue pursuing her passion for progressing music education to be more accessible to a wider range of students by providing opportunities for non-traditional methods of music making and inviting guitar and piano playing in public schools.
Gena R. Greher is Professor, of Music Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She’s a 2014 and 2015 Donahue Endowed Professor of the Arts. and is the Education Director of the UMass Lowell String Project/Youth Orchestra. She developed a math/music module with Jeanne Bamberger for the Herbie Hancock Institute’s STEAM Initiative https://mathsciencemusic.org as well as curriculum for several other modules and apps on the site. Gena is co-author with Suzanne Burton for Creative Music Making at Your Fingertips: A Mobile Technology Guide for Music Educators, as well as co-author with Jesse Heines for Computational Thinking in Sound: Teaching the Art and Science of Music and Technology, both from Oxford University Press. Gena was Co-PI on two NSF grants in Computational Thinking through Computing and Music, and Performatics: Connecting Computer Science to the Performing, Fine, and Design Arts. Most recently she has several entries in the Oxford Handbook of Technology and Music Education and chapters in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning; Community Music at the Boundaries; and The Music Technology Cookbook. Gena is a former President of the Association of Technology in Music Education (ATMI).
Gregory X. Whitmore is an Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education, and conductor of the Symphonic Winds at The California State University Fullerton School of Music. Dr. Whitmore is in his eighth season as Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (Irvine, CA). Dr. Whitmore received his bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education from The University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Whitmore received his master's degree in music with an emphasis in wind conducting from California State University Fullerton studying under Dr. Mitchell Fennell. Dr. Whitmore holds a master’s degree, and a doctorate in music and music education from Columbia University (Teachers College) in the city of New York. Dr. Whitmore has conducted concert bands extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and his research interests lie in music educator values as operationalized into pedagogy, in addition to investigating the concert band as an artistic medium. Dr. Whitmore has presented research at music education symposia in the United States and abroad. My TC education has been pivotal, and given me innovative, inclusive, and engaging pedagogical insights and perspectives that inform all of my professional endeavors in higher education.
Chang, the New York-based classical pianist, has performed extensively worldwide on five continents as a recitalist, soloist with orchestras, and in various chamber music ensembles. In 1995, she gave her recital debut in Australia, and subsequently performed at Die Stiftung Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, as well as at major concert halls in United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Switzerland, South Africa, US and at the prestigious Carnegie Zankel & Weill Halls in New York City. Dr. Chang has also established herself as an interdisciplinary researcher (music and psychology). She has a few publications in scientific peer-reviewed journals such as Psychology of Music, Medical Problems for Performing Artists and Journal of Performance and Mindfulness. Currently, Joanne Chang is a Professor at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York.
Soprano Karen Hall is an active performer, teacher and writer. Dr. Hall received her Doctorate from Columbia University, Teachers College. She is five-time Metropolitan Opera Regional Finalist and has won awards from the Texas Federation of Music Clubs, the Vocal Arts Foundation in San Francisco, and the Eleanor Anderson Lieber Awards. She has served as the Executive Director of the Los Alamos Arts Council, is on faculty at the Tchaikovsky Association in Moscow and serves as their United States Special Projects Liaison in Moscow, and teaches voice and piano in her private studio Songwerks in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Previously, she has been on faculty at New York University, Ithaca College and East Carolina University. In addition, she is a Fulbright Specialist and, in that capacity, spent a summer at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. She continues working in the area of Vocology as a researcher, writer and editor. She has presented workshops and pedagogical presentations with NATS (National Association of Teaches of Singing), The Voice Foundation and CMS (College Music Society). Additionally, she is the author of So You Want to Sing Music Theater, a voice pedagogy project jointly sponsored by NATS and Roman & Littlefield Publishers, and the editor of 2 additional books included in the project--So You Want to Sing Rock ‘n’ Roll and So You Want to Sing Jazz. Teachers College was simply incredible. What I learned infuses my teaching and personal life every day. I tell everyone that I am thankful every day for my experience at Teachers College. My education at TC led to book projects, teaching in Thailand, Wyoming, Florida and more.
Dr. Kimberly Stephenson is the Director of Education for The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and the Affiliate Director for San Antonio Wolf Trap. I hold a Doctorate in Education from Columbia University, New York, a Master’s in Education from Columbia, and a Masters in Music Education from Texas State. My degree in Music Education, K-12 Voice, is from the University of Texas, San Antonio. Prior to working at The Tobin Center, I taught Music, Choir, and drumming in San Antonio public schools for 17 years and Music and Education for eight years at St. Mary’s University. I hold certifications in Kodály Pedagogy, World Music Drumming, and Music Leadership for Small Congregations, and have been active in community theatre since 1999. Teachers College provided me with opportunities to realize more than my own potential, I experienced the value diversity brings to our educational institutions. Working daily with the students and teachers of Columbia challenged me to rethink the roles of education, to consider Arts strategies and their relationships to praxis, and the possibilities found in active creation. Essentially, TC gave me the tools to reach for the stars while rooting me in critical thought, professional standard, and responsible choice.
Kokoe Tanaka-Suwan, violinist and educator, has performed throughout the United States and countries abroad. Formerly the Music Director at the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, The Shirley Rodriguez-Remeneski School (BGLIG), Dr. Tanaka-¬Suwan developed a music curriculum where all 450 students (K-8), received daily string instruction. Under her direction, BGLIG’s music program received international recognition and was highlighted in The Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Strad Magazine, The Guardian, NBC News, CBS News, Pix 11, News 12. Dr. Tanaka¬-Suwan was featured in the 2017 Academy Award nominated documentary film, ‘Joe’s Violin’. Under the tutelage of Dr. Tanaka-Suwan, BGLIG was the recipient of two prestigious grants from Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and was recognized as one of the leading public-school music programs in the United States. Dr. Tanaka¬-Suwan led her String Orchestra at numerous concert events including New York Public Radio Station, Carnegie Hall, Montclair Film Festival, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yankee Stadium, and for honorary guests including Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Colbert, Jeff Spurgeon, Ed Helms. Dr. Tanaka-Suwan was a finalist for the 2020 Grammy Music Educator Award. Dr. Tanaka-Suwan received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance with a concentration in music-in-education from the New England Conservatory. She holds a Master of Music Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in violin performance at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. Dr. Tanaka-Suwan is currently the Orchestra Director in the Harrison Central Public-School District and serves as Co-Chair on BGLIG’s Board of Trustees. When I attended TC, I had been teaching in the Bronx for 13 years. My studies at TC gave me the opportunity to explore current practices in the field of music education and apply a variety of approaches within my classroom teaching. It was wonderful to be able to meet and collaborate educators, mentor graduate students in the NYS certification process, and hire teachers for full-time positions. I greatly enjoyed teaching applied studio lessons to graduate students and making music with them in a variety of performance settings.
I began at TC as an M.A. student, when the program was referred to as INSTEP. I had been teaching for a few years in public schools and wanted to expand my pedagogical practice and understanding of research in the field. As I grew interested in my own scholarship, I transitioned into the doctoral program and continued to bridge theory to practice, connecting my teaching to my studies at TC, and my studies at TC with my teaching. Emerging from the program as an educator-researcher-musician, I continue to pursue and contribute my work to the field.
Matthew is an educator, audio engineer, and composer currently based in New York City. He currently works as a middle school music teacher after previously working as a yearlong substitute music teacher in Pennsylvania. He also serves as the Rooke Chapel Director of Music at Bucknell University. As a composer, Matthew has completed commissions for individual musicians and full ensembles throughout the United States. Additionally, he has written for award-winning documentaries and shorts. He holds an M.M. in Composition/Theory from the Pennsylvania State University, and a B.M. in Music Composition with a Music Technology minor from Susquehanna University. Matthew holds teaching certification and an Ed.M. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. Matthew’s work in audio includes work for films, individual artists, and ensembles. He also utilizes visual coding software to create audio interfaces and programs for his students. Teachers College’s Ed.M. program was pivotal to Matthew’s development as a musician, educator, and thinker. Philosophies introduced by faculty and discussions with peers shaped his outlook on what music education is capable of for young learners. Practical applications facilitated by the program prepared Matthew for a career ensuring that each of his students is able to work towards a more just society.
Mark Tonelli is a musician and educator based in Decatur, IL. He is assistant professor of music and coordinator of Guitar Studies in the School of Music at Millikin University, where he teaches applied guitar, guitar ensemble, arts entrepreneurship, and is a Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow. He is a Road Scholar for Illinois Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and as a Fulbright Scholar, he will be a visiting professor at Universidade Federal de Uberlandia in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Mark maintains an active career as a jazz performer across the country. He frequently present at conferences in the areas of jazz studies and arts entrepreneurship. He is the author of three jazz guitar instructional books published by the FJH Music Company and “Entrepreneurship in Action: The Power of Student-run Ventures,” published by Edward Elgar Publishing. My time at TC was transformative. It helped me become a better teacher and professionalize my identity and activities as a teacher.
Megan Sheridan is an assistant professor of music education at the University of Florida, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. She received her Ph.D. in music from The Ohio State University, her Master of Arts in music and music education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her Bachelor of Music in music education from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Dr. Sheridan is Kodály certified and has completed Level II Orff-Schulwerk training. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of General Music Education. Dr. Sheridan’s research interests include children’s vocal development, pedagogical approaches in the elementary music classroom, music for children with special needs, music teacher education, and qualitative research methods. Dr. Sheridan credits the music education program at TC with giving her the foundational experiences necessary to be successful in her present career path as an assistant professor of music education. Her coursework both within and outside of music, including courses in child development and working with families, continue to impact her thinking about music teaching and learning.
Meryl Sole, Ed.D is a music educator, researcher and french horn player. She holds her doctorate in Music & Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University as well as a masters in Brass Performance from Boston University and a bachelors in Music Theory and Music History from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently she is teaching at New York University, Teachers College and Fordham University. Dr. Sole has held full time music faculty positions at The University of New Haven, Bergen Community College and SUNY Empire State College. She has also taught at Adelphi University, New Jersey City University, and Nassau Community College. Dr. Sole is an active researcher focusing on early childhood music where she explores musical parenting and musical development through toddlers’ spontaneous “crib songs”. She also studies creative approaches in music theory pedagogy. Dr. Sole’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and she has presented her work at numerous national and international conferences.
Patricia Rogers a native of Charleston, West Virginia earned her MA and MS degrees from Columbia Universi-ty, New York City and studied vocal technique with the famed Lola Hayes. Ms. Rogers studied the art of French songs with master coach, Hueque Cuenod, in Vevey, Swit-zerland. Her studies of German Lieder with Kelley Wyatt and Raoul Abdul in the U.S. continued at the Schubert In-stitute with famed singers Elley Ameling and Hans Hotter and drama of the Lied with Austria’s Madame Kallina, in Baden, Austria. Ms. Rogers is the first African American opera singer from the State of West Virginia to become a company member of the famous New York Metropolitan Opera Company in 1974 to 1991 and the New York City Opera Company from 1976 to 2008. Currently Ms. Rogers is performing her one woman show “My Journey”, insight into the world of Patricia Hancock Rogers, Opera Singer, Master Coach and Teacher, Mother (Parent), Interpreter,
She is a national as well as international performer and has appeared in opera houses in Europe, South America, Japan, Australia, New Zea-land, South East Asia, Hawaii and the United Kingdom. Her Carnegie Hall Recital was hailed by the New York Amsterdam News as a “Voice of Beauty”, “Appeared in magical radiance:” Lilo Sorell, Badener Zeiting, Austria. Her multifaceted career embraces TV, radio, recordings and Broadway musicals. In June of 1995, Ms. Rogers was inducted into the Henry Highland Garnet Foundation of Charleston, West Virginia Hall of Fame. Ms. Rogers won the title of Ms. Delaware in the American Classic Woman 2002 pageant. In April 2008, Ms. Rogers was awarded the “Life Time Achievement Award” by the West Virginia All Black Schools Sports and Academic Hall of Fame. And in September 2008 the ABSSA Hall of Fame Museum presented Ms. Rogers with the “Life Time Achieve-ment – Legend Award”.
Classical Productions, founded in 1978 by Directress Patricia Rogers, provides training and performance opportunities for multicultural artists. Many of our group of professional art-ists have performed with the Metropolitan and New York City Opera companies, and perform a variety of works including spirituals, operatic scenes and Broadway show tunes, a unique experience, quality and showmanship.
Teachers College was the catalyst to expanding my identity as a musician. As a classical pianist and flautist, creative ventures such as improvisation and composition were mostly foreign to me, and by extension, foreign to many of my students. TC pushed me into a brand-new musical pathway by encouraging the pursuit of a new instrument (I chose the handpan, a dream instrument of mine), and then by bringing out bravery within myself to experience the instrument through bodily instincts and improvisation. I now consider the handpan to be my primary instrument and have started sharing my work with the broader community online. I also have a new passion for helping my students express themselves through improvisation and composition. I truly believe my musical and teaching trajectory has been changed for the better through my studies at TC.
Sara Lewis is a K-8 Music Teacher located in Lyndonville, VT. She has taught private piano lessons for many years and performed for a few years as a singer/songwriter and produced an album while living in New York City. She attended Teachers College for a Masters in Music Education from 2014-2016.
I am a 2003 graduate of Westminster Choir College, holding a BM in Music Education and Piano Performance. I graduated from Teachers College in 2010 with a MA in Music Education. At present, I am in my 19th year as Director of Bands at Spotswood High School in Spotswood, NJ. My studies at TC have been crucial to the development of my personal philosophy of education, affording me opportunities to learn from visionaries in our field, which have enhanced my students' musical and educational experiences. Through my coursework, I have established key cornerstones that guide my pedagogy. The Columbia University name carries with it a great deal of respect within academia, and I bear the responsibility of being an alumna with pride and privilege.
I have had two international conference speaking engagements and presented at the 9th European Conference on Education in London, U.K. July 15-17, 2021 and at the 13th Asian Conference on Education in Tokyo, Japan Nov 25-28, 2021.
Currently, I am a Cultural policy researcher at Daegu Foundation for Culture, South Korea. Previously, I served as an Adjunct professor at Keimyung University and Former Workshop professor at Korea Entertainment Arts School. Additionally, I have Scholarly Publication at Arts Council Korea (In press).
The research technique that I learned at Teachers College and systematic academic program has developed my academic skills.
Program Director: Kelly Parkes
Contact Person: Malika Amraoui
Phone: (212) 678-3285 Fax: (212) 678-4048