Mentorship & Motivation in Education
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As we "march" into a new month, let's take some time to reflect on everything wonderful that the new month will bring to us, our students, and our families. Hopefully, we will enjoy warmer weather, more sunshine, time to pursue our passions, and more!

Like every other month, March is filled with many observances. The two that resonate the most with me include Music in Our Schools Month and Women's History Month. My doctoral thesis was entitled, "The Student Voice: Perception of Students' Representation of Themselves in the Secondary Band Curriculum." The participants for this qualitative study were secondary band students of at least 13 years of age or older who were enrolled in an American middle or high school public or private band program during the 2020–2021 academic year. The research questions were open-ended and the literature review or survey data touched on differences within ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, language, learning style, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Based on the survey's data, students perceive a reflection of themselves in the secondary band curriculum more often in relation to composers whose music they perform as opposed to clinicians who are invited into the learning space either physically or virtually. The data also infers that females are not being given the opportunity to see themselves as often in the band curriculum. Because of this, I highlighted resources for this month that combine music and women so that all students may experience women as musicians, conductors, clinicians, composers, and more!

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in K-12 general education, "about 76 percent of public school teachers were female and 24 percent were male in 2017–18." In music education, the data is flipped with approximately 53% of public school choral teachers identifying as female and only 20% of instrumental music teachers identifying as female (Leonard, 1991). In higher education, the data shows that approximately 10% of all collegiate band-conducting leadership positions are held by women (Gould, 2001). 

All classrooms, and most specifically as we focus on music classrooms and performing ensembles this month, are places where opportunities for accurate reflection of schools’ varying demographics should exist. In addition, the differences of all students must be accurately reflected in each curriculum, classroom, and program. If we are to accurately reflect the differences of all students in our curricula, classrooms, and programs, then we must begin to consider each student’s perspective through direct inquiry and discover ways to represent them. Specifically, this month let's ask the question, "Do students see a representation of women in the curriculum, classroom, and program?" This applies to students of all ages and levels including adults and practicing educators through professional learning opportunities. Although I'll focus on music, and more so on band, this question can apply to all areas of music and any subject, too. In addition to the remarkable exemplars that we celebrate in our curriculum that do not identify as female, are we ensuring that our students also experience female-identifying exemplars in every area of education? 

Embrace uniqueness!
💗 Lori

Featured Reading


Keeping It Real: Authentic Experiences in Education

As educators, we know all too well that should we fail to actively engage today’s learners, we will lose them. This loss can be to another course, to another activity, or to a lack of focus or motivation. Knowledge is merely one piece of the educational puzzle. Proof of that selfsame knowledge may have a more substantial impact on students’ learning, motivation, and future path. The hands-on authentic experience must never be ignored. It should be accessed, nurtured, and reflected in the classroom, curriculum, and community. Read the full article to discover ways we can "keep it real" for our students.

Thank you to Andrew B. Spang for inquiring about a writing collaboration and suggesting a wonderful topic!



“Mirror, mirror on the wall,
am I providing opportunities reflecting all?”


How will you make key changes this month to celebrate women in your classroom, program, or organization? Watch the short video.


How are we celebrating women in our home, classroom, organization, and profession? How are we including female-identifying students, colleagues, and supporters? Do the photos/posters in our classroom, speakers for our curriculum, authors/composers of works, clinicians for events, and such include women? Are we ensuring that all female-identifying students, colleagues, and supporters feel welcome, included, heard, celebrated, and recruited? Are we involving these stakeholders in the curriculum, repertoire, performance, and vision? How are we acknowledging them? Are we even acknowledging them?

Past Reading


Now Is the Time! Music Education "Challenges" Core Curricula for First Chair

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972). Source: National Women’s History Museum

Prior to the pandemic, the educational and professional communities were floating 21st Century job skills needed to succeed. Of these, most are especially well suited to being addressed and developed in the music classroom. Read the full article for a list of these skills! Might we be at the dawn of a new educational era—a new societal appreciation, and a modern reorganization and reprioritizing of educational outcomes? Could music be at the forefront of meeting these new priorities? Should music win the seat “challenge” and become first chair leading all other curricula?! 

It was a joy to collaborate with Andrew B. Spang (again!) on this article.



Women in Music

Thank you to the following organizations and their founders for celebrating and supporting women in music:
  • Association of Black Women Band Directors
    • "to connect, support, inspire, and empower Black women band directors through finding and celebrating our legacies, supporting our in-service educators, and serving as resources for the next generation."
  • Athena Music and Leadership Camp
    • "to Empower Young Women Through Music, and is the first to provide middle and high school-aged girls a music camp experience that also emphasizes leadership and team-building skills."
  • Boulanger Initiative
    • "to promote music composed by women through performance, education, research, consulting, and commissions."
  • Committee on the Status of Women 
    • "to promote gender equity in areas related to saxophone, supports the professional development of women+ and gender non-binary members in the North American Saxophone Alliance, and serves as a repository of resources and information about women+ and saxophone."
  • Girls in Music Initiative
    • "to dedicate funding for advanced learning opportunities, scholarships, and transformative musical experiences that foster both personal and professional growth."
  • Girls Who Conduct
    • "to empower and encourage the upcoming generation of women, women-identifying, and non-binary conductors by providing a program for training, mentorship, and camaraderie in order to foster diversity and inclusion in classical music."
  • International Women's Brass Conference
    • "to educate, develop, support, and promote women brass musicians while inspiring continued excellence and opportunities in the broader musical world."
  • Key of She Jazz
    • "to support and encourage girls and young women as they become involved in jazz, starting in the middle school years through high school, college, and beyond; inspire change; and create forward momentum to equalize the ratio of girls to guys in jazz, starting in schools."
  • Smart Women in Music
    • "supports women in the music products industry to develop their leadership aspirations and to broaden and deepen their leadership proficiencies."
  • Sound Girls
    • "to inspire and empower the next generation of women in audio and to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production, providing the tools, knowledge, and support to further their careers."
  • Women Band Directors International
    • "represents women band directors of all pedagogical levels and years of experience from college students to retired directors by promoting women, providing support and community, and mentoring women in the band field."
  • Women in Jazz
    • "to help level the playing field in Jazz, so that women and non-binary people have equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to Jazz, leading to an improved and more rich, diverse, and successful art form."
  • Women In Music
    • "founded in 1985, it is the music industry's longest-running 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to the education, empowerment, and advancement of women in the music industry and musical arts with chapters across the globe."
  • Women's Philharmonic Advocacy
    • "celebrates the vast range of orchestral music by women, and encourages orchestras to program it!"
In addition to gender diversity, the following organizations also embrace all under-represented composers:
There are also numerous social media groups that celebrate, promote, and support women in music, too. Search for them and invite colleagues to join!

* The above list includes organizations with whom I am affiliated or colleagues with whom I collaborate or communicate. This is by no means a complete list. If you are aware of or affiliated with a similar organization that is not listed above, please let Lori know.

Student Opportunities


How can we support the goals of all students and celebrate their creative work?

Summer Music Camps & Programs

Thank you to Barbra Weidlein, Director of, for providing this extensive list of 2022 summer music camps and programs:


Key of She Jazz Virtual Week

This 3-day event features 75-minute sessions on topics about women in jazz! All genders & ages welcome! Educators are encouraged to attend, too.

Microsoft Disability Scholarship

This scholarship will be awarded to promising high school seniors with disabilities who plan to attend a vocational or academic college and target a career in the technology industry.

Educator Opportunities


Graduate Course

  • "Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program"
  • July 18 - July 22, 2022 @ 8:30 am ET - 4:30 pm ET
  • Villanova University
    • lodging available
  • earn 3 graduate credits
  • Information & Registration

Searching for meaningful professional development (PD) or a mentor?

Ask Lori to design and present PD sessions to mentor or motivate educators or students in your school system or organization. Or, request mentorship or a consultation for your classroom, studio, or program. Lori can also recommend other mentors who fit your specific needs. 

March Engagements




  • March 2022
  • "The Heartbreaking Truth About Education: Why and How We Will Survive"
  • Article co-authored with Ken Buck


  • March 2022
  • program note for Adrian B. Sim's new composition "Fanfare for Flight"


  • March 7, 2022 - virtual
  • San Bernardino City Unified School District, California
  • Session 4 of 6:  "Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program"


  • March 8 & 9, 2022 
  • Frederick County Middle School Band Assessment, Maryland


  • March 12 - 16, 2022 - virtual
  • Harford County Solo & Ensemble Festival, Maryland


  • March 14, 2022 - virtual
  • College Band Directors National Conference - Eastern Division - Small Band Program Working Group
  • Discussion:  "Making Key Changes: Protecting Your and Your Students' Mental Health"


  • March 29, 2022 - virtual
  • West Chester University, Pennsylvania
  • Session:  "Stronger Together: Create, Collaborate, and Connect with Administrators"


  • March 31, 2022 
  • Prince George's County Middle School In-School Band Clinic, Maryland



Lori enjoys the following invitations:

  • designing & presenting school-based/district-wide professional learning opportunities for ALL subject area educators and students (face-to-face & virtual)
  • writing stories about the amazing things people & organizations are doing to better our world
  • guest conducting & adjudicating bands of all levels (concert & jazz)
Contact Lori if you have unique ideas for future collaborations. Let’s be creative and work together to make key changes in education!



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