WSU Elementary Music Workshop Series

2014-15 Workshop Series

The Dalcroze Approach for Music Educators: October 4, 2014
Bringing the Music and Dance of West Africa into the Classroom: January 31, 2015
Listening Critically and Responding Creatively: April 18, 2015

Workshop Fee

$25.00 for each workshop or $70 for all three if registered by October 4, 2014.

Graduate Credit

Attendance at all three workshops available for 1 Graduate Credit


The Dalcroze Approach for Music Educators

Clinician:  Kathy Thomsen

Date: October 4, 2014
Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: Performing Arts Center, Room: 156


Children love to move. Emile Jaques-Dalcroze capitalized on this natural tendency by developing an approach to teaching music and musicianship through physical movement.

  Kathy Thomsen
This workshop offers strategies for infusing a music classroom with purposeful movement to teach fundamental concepts (i.e. beat, meter, phrase, melody, harmony), expressivity, listening, and reading. Types of movement introduced will include locomotor, rhythmic movement, and creative, expressive movement. Songs, composed pieces, and recordings, as well as a variety of improvised music – percussion, xylophone, vocal, and piano – will be used as source material. Participants will gain insight into why movement is effective as a methodology. Along with being introduced to general techniques and strategies involving movement, participants will come away with specific activities for a variety of age groups.

Dr. Kathy Thomsen is one of a trio of founders of the newly formed American Eurhythmics Society (AES). The AES is a cohort of music educators who use purposeful and rhythmic movement, singing, and improvisation to enhance learning in the music classroom and the studio. Dr. Thomsen is Associate Professor at Hamline University in St. Paul where she teaches piano and conducts the Women’s Chorale. She is also on the summer faculty at the University of St. Thomas in the Graduate Programs in Music Education, and the Wisconsin Center for Music Education near Madison.  In addition to college students, her eurhythmics teaching includes second graders at Hamline Elementary and senior citizens at Becketwood Senior Housing Cooperative in Minneapolis. She holds the Dalcroze License from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA and the D.M.A. in piano performance from the University of Minnesota.

Bringing the Music and Dance of West Africa into the Music Classroom: Developing a Pedagogy for World Music

Clinician:  Karen Howard

Date: January 31, 2015
Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Location: Performing Arts Center, Room: 159

This workshop will focus on teaching the music and dance of Ghana, West Africa.

  Karen Howard
Authentic instruments will be played to accompany songs, singing games and dances from this tradition. Participants will experience pedagogical strategies, including those of Orff and Kodaly, for bringing this music into their own classrooms. Work with the rich polyrhythmic traditions of Ghana will provide further enrichment for each participant's musical development.

Karen Howard is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of St. Thomas teaching music education methods, core graduate courses, world music pedagogy, and advising masters theses.

In addition to her university schedule, Ms. Howard is a national and international clinician specializing in children’s music culture, ethnomusicology, creative and folk dance traditions, early childhood music education, assessment, and curriculum development.  She has presented at events for the American Orff Schulwerk Association, the Organization of American Kodály Educators, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the National Association for Music Education, the International Society of Music Education, and the American Choral Directors Association.

Her research has been published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education, International Journal of Community Music, and the Japanese Journal of Research in Music Education. Her other published works are available through the Association for Cultural Equity, Smithsonian Folkways Tools for Teachers, General Music Today, and The Orff Echo.

Ms. Howard earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree and Masters of Music Education degree from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford and is finishing a PhD in Music Education from the University of Washington. In 2003, she was recognized as Connecticut Music Educator Association’s Elementary Music Educator of the Year.

Listening Critically and Responding Creatively

Clinician: Joanna Cortright

Date: April 18, 2015
Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: Performing Arts Center, Room: 159

Come and participate in an engaging workshop focused on new processes and protocols designed to draw students into musical thinking.

  Joanna Cortright
These processes are powerful tools for students to use as they make connections, articulate original ideas, and write about music. When students reflect on and describe music, they develop their understanding and become musically independent learners and thinkers. Teachers will leave the workshop with new lessons and valuable resources to engage their students in responding to music through movement, writing, reading, visual art, and mapping musical works. The strategies in this workshop will address Minnesota State Music Standards for K-12 students.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance verifying 3.5 hours which count towards their Minnesota Teacher Re-licensure literacy hours.     

Joanna Cortright, a Twin Cities based music and arts education consultant, was an Arts Education Specialist at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, a Minnesota State agency, and arts coordinator and music specialist at Linwood A+ Elementary School  in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She also served as an arts coach for teams of artists and teachers in Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public schools planning arts learning projects for students. Cortright is a strong supporter of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning.

Current projects include developing family concerts and curricula for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s CONNECT and START THE MUSIC programs, curriculum development for the Minnesota Orchestra’s UPBeat program, and projects with the American Composers Forum and VocalEssence.