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Laura Harmon is Associate Music Director of the Philadelphia Girls Choir and an elementary music teacher in Southern New Jersey. She and Missy discuss what life as a choir director is like right now in the Covid era. She also describes some of the things that make the PGC so unique and forward-thinking in the world of childrens’ choirs.
Laura Harmon obtained her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. A passionate musician, she has over 17 years of professional experience as an educator and choral conductor. She is dedicated to the musical growth and educational development of children, and has conducted choirs and taught general music to children ranging from Kindergarten to eighth grade.She began her teaching career as the Vocal Music Teacher in northern NJ. Since then, she has taught throughout NJ & PA. She is currently the Vocal Music teacher and Choral director in Cherry Hill, NJ. Her success as an educator has led her students to perform in honors choirs throughout New Jersey, as well as to participate in several prestigious choirs, including All-South Jersey Choir, All-State Choir, and OAKE National Choir. Additionally, her private students are working in professional theaters in Philadelphia, and are showcased in commercials, on television, and off-Broadway.
The Kodály philosophy and method provide the framework for Ms. Harmon’s approach to music education. She obtained her Kodály training from Westminster Choir College through The Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). To increase her knowledge and involvement with the Kodály method she is on the OAKE Eastern Division Board and Equity committee of the organization.
ASJC: just the song list
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Music teachers don’t always know what to do for Black History Month, and there are far too many only doing a lesson in February. Jasmine talks to Missy about the importance of making sure that long before February rolls around, we are teaching students about Black history, culture, and music throughout the school year. Jasmine offers engaging, practical ideas for BHM as well as the rest of the year, and also talks about her new endeavor, The Passionate Black Educator.
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FAME Teacher Trainer and Indiana Music Educator Association’s 2021 Outstanding Elementary Educator Award recipient Andy Himelick talks with Missy about how teaching is going for him during the pandemic. They chat about his First Steps and Conversational Solfege instruction and he gives Missy an update on the Conversational Solfege and Orff book project he and his co-authors are working on for GIA Publications.
Andy Himelick has been an elementary music teacher in Carmel Indiana for 28 years and an assistant choral director with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir for 22 years. He graduated from Butler University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and was awarded Outstanding Student Teacher. In 1999, he completed the Kodály Certificate of Music Education from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI. He completed Orff-Schulwerk Levels I and II at the University of St. Thomas St. Paul, MN in 2001 and 2002, and Level III at Anderson University in 2005. In 2006 he received the Indiana University School of Education Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Teacher Educator Award. In 2021 he received the Indiana Music Education Association’s Outstanding Elementary Educator Award. He is a founding member of FAME and currently serving on the FAME board as Treasurer. He is a Teacher Trainer in both “First Steps in Music” and “Conversational Solfege”. He is a presenter and clinician at national and state music conventions and workshops. He, his wife Lori, son Jaren, and daughter Jenna live in Indianapolis.