David Rankine: Finding the Positive in the Pandemic | S01E11


David Rankine is a dual-endorsed Teacher Trainer with the FAME organization and he comes on the podcast to chat with Missy about how things have been going for him up in Canada during COVID. He also talks about his brand new series, Mr. Rankine’s Musical Cabin with GIA Publications!

A native of Elora, Ontario, Canada, David Rankine has been teaching music in Kingston area schools, community organizations, and historic sites for more than 20 years. A Kindergarten teacher for 8 years before becoming a Music Specialist, David completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University where he was an apprentice conductor with Dr. Mark Sirett, and his Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University where he received the L.W. Copp Teaching Award.David is a former Drum Major and Company Captain of the Fort Henry Guard where he received the Colonel Truman Crawford Cup, USMC, for Excellence in Music. A recipient of several scholarships from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, David has both Piano and Organ certifications from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and is also a Church Organist and Music Director, as well as the former Organist for the Kingston Frontenacs OHL Hockey Franchise.

David is a Certified Teacher Trainer in First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege, co-presented with Dr. Feierabend at the 2018 OMEA Conference, and hosted Canada’s premier First Steps in Music Course in Kingston in 2018. In addition to his classroom work, he has received numerous grants and donations under the umbrella of ‘Building Community Through Music.’ Surmounting his belief that to build community one must go into the community, these proceeds have enabled more than 800 K-6 students to annually take part in and host Folk Festivals, May Day Festivals, and Family Folk Dances all based on the First Steps in Music curriculum to help create a more Tuneful, Beatful, and Artful society.

David lives in a forest just north of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and two children, Eva and George.

Mr. Rankine’s Music Cabin: https://www.giamusic.com/store/musiccabin


Loneka Battiste: Confronting the Colorblind Fallacy | S01E10


Dr. Loneka Battiste, Assistant Professor of Music Ed at the University of Tennessee, describes the importance of seeing, acknowledging, and connecting with every student in your classroom and the disequilibrium she herself experienced as she came to this realization in her first years as a teacher.

Loneka Battiste is Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Drawing on 12 years of experience teaching children in school and community settings, she now teaches elementary general and middle school choral methods and graduate courses in music education. She has presented several papers and sessions at local, national, and international conferences and symposia and is a frequent clinician and guest conductor for elementary, middle school, and community choirs. She currently serves as Music Education Representative for the Southern Region of the College Music Society and on the Council for the Tennessee Music Education Association as the Society for Music Teacher Education Representative and Research Chair. She has also served in various leadership positions in the Society for Ethnomusicology, including Co-Chair of the Education Section, Co-Chair of the Crossroads Section, and Co-Chair of the Gertrude Robinson Network of Scholars.

In 2019, she completed a Fulbright Fellowship at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil and studied coco, a musical tradition of the Brazilian northeast, in the Xambá community of Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil. While in Brazil, she gave lectures on African American musics and formed a gospel choir at UFPE. She also gave lectures on culturally responsive teaching at UFPE, Universidade Federal de Paraiba, and Artefatos da Cultura Negra in Ceará.
Her current research addresses the history of African American music education and the training of African American music teachers.

Laura Harmon: Choir in the Time of Covid | S01E09


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

Maria A. Ellis: From Bach to Beyoncé, How Music Helps Us Heal | S01E08


Maria A. Ellis joins Missy to talk about Bach & Beyoncé, her new radio show where she gets to geek out about her love for music and challenge assumptions about a broad spectrum of musical genres, including Classical Music. She shares her desire to inspire educators to teach in a variety of ways and to look to music to help people heal together, no matter their skin color.

Maria A. Ellis is a very passionate music educator and choral conductor.  She currently serves as the Director of The Sheldon’s City of Music All-Star Chorus and is the host of Bach and Beyoncé – The Radio Show on Classic 107.3 FM The Voice for the Arts in St. Louis, MO.  Maria is an active clinician, adjudicator and presenter throughout the United States and abroad.  Maria holds a B.M. in Music Education emphasis on Voice (K-12 Certified) Degree from the University of Missouri- St. Louis. She has served as a host for The St. Louis Symphony’s Link Up Program, The Community Engagement Manager for The St. Louis Children’s Choirs and an Ensemble Director for The St. Louis Children’s Choirs new Virtual Chorus. Maria is the Repertoire and Resource Chair of Inclusivity for the Missouri Choral Directors Association.  She is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Association of Music Educators, Missouri Alliance for Arts Education and holds Level 3 Certification from the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education.  Maria is the owner of Girl Conductor LLC which provides diverse music education resources.

Please check out Maria’s Black History PD session and the diverse music education resources on her website http://www.girlconductor.com

Jasmine Fripp: Black History Year-Round | S01E07

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.

Andy Himelick: FAME Teacher Trainer Talk | S01E06


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.

Natasha Verhulst: Reversing False Narratives & Talking Native Truths – One Teacher’s Perspective | S01E05


Music Educator Natasha Verhulst, an enrolled tribal member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and a descendant of the Menominee Nation, talks to Missy about her life growing up in Wisconsin and shares how her love for the music and culture of her people led her to become a musician and eventually, a music teacher.

Natasha Verhulst is an enrolled tribal member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a descendant of the Menominee Nation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education with triple certification from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin in 2015, and is currently working towards her master’s degree in Music Education with emphasis in Kodaly previously at Holy Family College and plans to finish the program at Lakeland University. Natasha has taught 9th-12th grade band and choir at Menasha High School in Menasha, WI and 5th-8th grade choir, band, and general music at Kiel Middle School in Kiel, WI. She is currently teaching 4K-5th grade general music at Keshena Primary School in Menominee Indian School District on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. 

Natasha’s career goal is to help bring native music and culture to the music classroom setting for children to experience and learn from. Natasha recently worked with PBS on their project “ReSound: Songs of Wisconsin,” creating a diverse curriculum of different cultural music for educators throughout the state. She presented at the Wisconsin Music Educators Association State conference in October 2019. Recently, Natasha was a part of the 2020 WSMA Summer Workshop series, where she taught a session to music educators on how to include Native American music in regular music lessons. The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) is featuring Natasha’s lesson plans on their website so that educators throughout the country may use them in their classrooms. She is also a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access committee member for the Feierabend Association is Music Education. Natasha enjoys spending time with her husband and relatives, performing, crocheting, and beading in her spare time.

Land map

Article about Text for Land Info

Wisconsin Act 31


We Shall Remain – PBS


An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (For Young People)

All the Real Indians Died Off: And 20 Other Myths About Natibe Americans (Myths Made in America)

Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

Why You Can’t Teach United States History without American Indians

David Row: Music Ed Puppet Master | S01E04


Join Missy as she chats with David Row about their shared love for using puppets in the music program. Learn fun ways to utilize these wonderful teacher sidekicks in your classroom right away. It’s possible that you’ll have just as much fun (or even more) than your students!

David Row loves teaching music to kids! A Nebraska native and Midwesterner at heart, David now lives and teaches in the Kansas City metro area for the DeSoto Unified School District. He holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory, completed three levels and a master course in Orff Schulwerk training, and has extensive experience with critical thinking in the arts. David is an active clinician and has presented workshops at state and local conventions across the United States and Canada.

On his blog, MakeMomentsMatter.org, David shares ideas about classroom content, management, lesson plans, critical thinking, and more. Search for “Make Moments Matter: A Music Education Podcast!” wherever you download podcasts or catch up with David every week on his “Musical Mondays” LIVE videos on Facebook.

David’s Website & home of his blog:  MakeMomentsMatter.org
David’s blog post on using puppets to teach the four voices: https://makemomentsmatter.org/content/puppet-pals-learning-the-four-voices/

Chris Anne Powers: A New Repertoire Database | S01E03


FAME Teacher Trainer Chris Anne Powers joins Missy to talk all about the new Feierabend Repertoire Database, a truly exciting new resource that Chris has been working on for GIA Publications that will help music teachers easily find just the right song, chant, or game at just the right time!

Chris Powers has been an elementary music specialist since 1995.  She started her career as a music specialist in Stratford, Connecticut.  In 1998, she joined the music department in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she currently teaches K-5 General Music, Band and Chorus at Cos Cob School.

From 1999 through 2012, Chris co-conducted the Greenwich Public Schools Honor Choir.  Comprised of the finest young singers in the town, the choir participated in prestigious choral festivals, including the National Children’s Choir at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Henry Leck, and the Children In Harmony Festival Choir with Dr. Barbara Tagg.

In addition to her work in the classroom, Chris has also worked as a seminar leader, portfolio scorer and mentor teacher, assisting beginning teachers in the BEST/TEAM program. Chris is also a free-lance flutist, singer and private flute instructor.

Chris received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she had the good fortune of studying with John Feierabend.  She completed her Master’s Degree in Education from Sacred Heart University in 2002.

In 2010, Chris received her Kodaly Certificate from The Hartt School.   Given her strong commitment to the Feierabend Approach, she is thrilled that the Greenwich Public Schools has adopted First Steps In Music For Preschool & Beyond and Conversational Solfege as the basis of their new Core Music Curriculum for Pre-K through 5th grade.  Chris created and presented professional development workshops for her colleagues based on the Feierabend approach to facilitate the implementation of the new curriculum.

Chris is honored to be one of the founding members of the Feierabend Association for Music Education (FAME) and currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors. She is an Endorsed Teacher Trainer for the First Steps in Music Curriculum.

Chris lives a music-filled life in Cos Cob, Connecticut with her husband Jed and their sons, Jay and Tommy.

Feierabend Repertoire Database: https://giamusic.com/store/dei?fbclid=IwAR11gMf9Y0P57I7kUbLHyvwYAswJ6Q2ZzqKS4RAAhekOCVuegnYNiLNuITk


Franklin Willis: A New Vision for Music Ed | S01E02


Music Educator extraordinaire Franklin Willis joins Missy to talk about a few great topics – from some of the irons he has in the fire as a Teacher/Entrepreneur, to his new book Edward’s Rhythm Sticks, to describing how becoming a father to his young son and the events of 2020 have changed him as a person and as an educator. Both new and veteran music teachers will find inspiration in hearing Franklin talk about what it takes to continue in the profession in spite of the challenges that we all face, so don’t miss it!

For more than a decade, Franklin Willis has educated, mentored, and developed elementary and middle school students through the power of music. He specializes in providing musical instruction through authentic culturally relevant teaching experiences to empower and engage all children to achieve success. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Music in 2009. In 2012, he earned the Master of Education Degree in Nonprofit Leadership from Belmont University. Most recently Willis completed the Education Specialist Degree with an emphasis in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

He currently serves as the Elementary Music Instructional Coach for the Metro Nashville Public Schools District, to provide music teachers with instructional support and resources necessary to enhance their classrooms. Willis believes that music education is a vital tool to teach students about other cultures, create community, and a love for learning. Through his work, he has developed a passion that the cultivation of musicianship begins at a young age and that every child has musical potential. Every student is a champion and deserves a music teacher who will see the best in them.

Willis has facilitated professional development sessions for music teachers of all grade levels sharing his unique and relevant teaching practices. He consistently collaborates with colleagues, community organizations, local businesses, colleges and universities to advocate for the importance of music education in our schools. Through his work he has received national recognition for his ability to meet students at their point of need and guide them to new levels of success. He is a three time recipient of the CMA Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence Award. (’16, ’18, ’19)

Links from this episode:

Learn more about Franklin: www.fwillismusic.com

Shop music education apparel: www.princerhythmcompany.com

Browse elementary music education resources:https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/F-Willis-Music

Download Edward’s Rhythm Sticks Ebook with F. Flat Books https://fflat-books.com/product/edwards-rhythm-sticks/

Watch Carrie Underwood surprise Franklin’s music students: https://youtu.be/tlxWUqtAslI