Recent and Upcoming SongWorks Presentations

by the SWEA Newsletter Team

January 2023

SongWorks Educators have been busy presenting at and preparing for sessions at national, state, and local music education conferences and workshops. Here’s some of what our members have been up to recently:

National Association for Music Education (NAfME)

Erin Bailey, PhD, and Emilee Knell presented at the NAfME conference in November. They discussed a study they conducted in which preservice undergraduate students partnered with a preschool teacher with limited music experience to prepare her to teach music independently to her students. They used the Young Musicians Academy as a training-ground for the students and the in-service teacher. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine three unique perspectives in a service-learning model: the in-service teacher, preservice undergraduate students, and preschool children.

Utah Music Educators Association (UMEA)

Betty Phillips and Emilee Knell will be presenting at the UMEA Conference on February 3-4. They provided the following description of their session:

What’s in a Song?: Playing, Exploring, and Reading
A song can provide a playground for studying music. We will explore all a piece has to offer through the lens of SongWorks principles and practices. Come and join us as we take a look at the possibilities for engaged learning and music study in a song!

Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA)

The SongWorks Educators Association will be well represented at the Minnesota Music Educators Midwinter Clinic in 2023! SongWorks Certified Educators Molly Feigal, Lisa Schoen, and Rebecca Hahn will be presenting on Friday, February 17. 

At 8:45 on Friday morning, Lisa and Molly will co-present their first session, Literacy and Playful Part-Singing, highlighting SongWorks techniques and strategies to engage listening, encourage movement, and develop score reading and singing skills as part of a sequential scaffolding of serious song study and playful part-singing. Participants will read and create bridge notation scores to represent clusters of sound and language (picture scores), flow of phrases (line scores), and rhythmic and melodic building blocks (dot and solfège scores), which will serve as graphic organizers for the music, and culminate in playful part-singing. 

Later that morning, at 11:15, Rebecca Hahn will bring her 4th and 5th grade orchestra students to perform folk song arrangements they have created in her classroom. In her session, Playing Pictures: Student-Created Arrangements, Student-Centered Learning, Rebecca will use SongWorks score-making techniques (picture scores) to model the process she uses with her orchestra, demonstrating ways to arrange lovely student-generated concert pieces. Participants will have the opportunity to create a picture score of their own during this session, and perhaps have the students play their composition!

To close out the afternoon, at 3:30, Lisa and Molly will present their second session, Surprised By A Song: A Melodic Study with La Compagnie Créole. They will guide participants through a SongWorks learning experience using a fantastic French song, Ça fait rire les oiseaux. Learners will embody the language of the song using movement (Total Physical Response method to language acquisition), and will interact with bridge notation scores, which represent clusters of language, flow of phrases, and rhythmic and melodic information. At the end of the session, learners will play melodic patterns on xylophones, discover chord progressions on ukuleles, and even sing some lyrics in French! It’s sure to be a fabulous day of learning for all!

In other news, Molly and Lisa are excitedly gearing up to lead a 4-hour SongWorks workshop for the Minnesota Kodály Chapter on Saturday, April 15, 2023. More info coming soon!

SongWorks Saturdays & Workshops


Taryn Raschdorf, Associate Professor of Music Education at Old Dominion University, and Betty Phillips, Executive Director of the SongWorks Certification Program, presented a SongWorks Saturday Workshop on October 8, 2022 at ODU in Virginia. Three hours flew by as music students and local elementary music teachers joined us in singing, playing, studying, reflecting, dancing, and laughing together.


The music education students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah have the opportunity to learn about SongWorks from Betty Phillips next month! On February 1-2 she will be teaching two classes: Classroom engagement principles in the classroom, engaging students through our words (with an emphasis on grades 4-6) and Folk Songs and Singing Games, learning musicianship through play and active engagement


Marilyn Winter and Rachel Gunderson will present song games, mapping and movement activities to educators in and around Mesa, AZ on February 11. “Let’s Catch a Rooster”, “Seasick Sailor”, “Clickety Clickety Clack”, and the Bach “Gavotte” are all on the program to inspire student-centered playfulness and learning!


Betty Phillips will be offering a spring SongWorks Saturday Workshop in Corvallis, OR on April 15. Keep an eye out for more details coming soon!

Find out more about SongWorks Saturday Workshops!

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