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Annual Nashville Music Educators Forum

Saturday February 3, 2018, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Choral Hall

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University for our third annual Music Educators Forum. Last year's forum was filled to capacity with our guest clinician, Dr. Peter Boonshaft. We are most pleased to once again offer this opportunity to renew and reinvigorate with this years Forum guest, Dr. Alice-Ann Darrow. Dr. Darrow is a well-known and respected specialist in music therapy, non-verbal communication techniques, behavioral modification, and special education. We hope you will join us on the 3rd of February for some fellowship, guidance, and coffee and donuts! The forum will take place in the Choral Rehearsal Hall at Blair, and will be presented in two sessions: the first beginning at 9 a.m. with a break at 10:30, the second session beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 12:30 p.m. 

The Music Educators Forum is free and open to the public, due to the generous support of Vanderbilt University and the Blair School of Music. 

Our Guest Clinician: Dr. Alice-Ann Darrow


Alice-Ann Darrow, Ph.D., MT-BC is Irvin Cooper Professor of Music in the College of Music at Florida State University. Before coming to FSU in 2003, she taught at The University of Kansas for 20 years where she held courtesy appointments in the Departments of Speech and Hearing and Special Education, and also worked with students at the Kansas School for the Deaf in Olathe, KS. She has been the recipient of over 25 federal, corporate, or university grants related to music and deafness, and inclusive education. Other areas of research and clinical specialization include nonverbal communication in the classroom, and integrated groups in clinical practice. She is co-author or Music in Special Education, Music Therapy and Geriatric Populations, and editor of Introduction to Approaches in Music Therapy. She has been the recipient of research and clinical practice awards from the American Music Therapy Association. In music education, she has served on the editorials boards of JRME, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, General Music Today, Bulletin for the Council on Research in Music Education, Reviews of Research in Human Learning and Music, and Florida Music Director. She recently served as Chair of the Commission on Music and Special Education for the International Society for Music Education.

Session Presentations

Teacher Sessions:

“It's Not Only What You Say...
The Importance of Nonverbal Communication in the Classroom

9:00am - 10:30am

Increased attention has been given in recent years to the important role of non-verbal communication in educational settings. A solid base of research exists affirming that "what is said" is of secondary importance to "how it is said." This session focuses upon general principles of non-verbal communication (paralinguistics, environment, gestures, body movements, touch, and personal space) and places these principles in the context of classroom music instruction. The clinician will share data, address how nonverbal communication functions in the classroom, and ways in which it can enhance the learning environment.


“Strategies for Including All Students in Music Education

11:00am - 12:30pm

The inclusion of students with disabilities can present particular challenges to instruction in the music classroom.  There are, however, various strategies that can be used to enhance the learning of all students.  Strategies may involve changes in the way the teacher delivers instruction, alternative means for student responses, variations in the environment, or curricular changes. Strategies can be based on students’ specific learning needs and on their strengths as well as their weaknesses.  Several types of strategies will be presented as a foundation for music educators to create individualized, appropriate and effective accommodations and modifications for their students. 

Collegiate Student Session (also open to beginning teachers in years 1-3):

“Nonverbal Communication Research: Implications for Interview Behaviors”

Before the first question is asked, an empolyer has already formed an opinion about you.  Nonverbal communication plays an important role in the job interview, and it is often the deciding factor whether the interviewee gets the job.  Attending to your nonverbal communication during a job interview will ensure your answers to questions will will be taken more seriously.  The presenter will cover tips and pitfalls and how these function in the interview process.  The seession will be interactive and include interview exercises.