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Conference Clinician Biographies

Peggy Bennett 

Peggy D. Bennett is Professor of Music Education and Director of the early childhood MusicPlay program (ages 3-5) at The Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. Her new books Playing with the Classics Volume 2: Music Masterworks for Children (2012), Playing with the Classics Volume 1: Music Masterworks for Children (2011) and RhymePlay: Playing with Children and Mother Goose (2010) have recently been released by Alfred publishing. Co-author of the popular SongWorks® books and SongPlay, Peggy is an award-winning teacher with frequent presentations across the U.S., plus Australia, Canada, England, Japan, and Greece. Author of over 40 pedagogical and research articles, Peggy builds her work upon goals of eliciting playfulness, welcoming curiosity, preserving musicality, prompting thinking, and displaying interactions that are mutually respectful and responsive. A graduate of Ball State University and the University of North Texas, Peggy's work as a certified mediator and Martha Beck Certified life coach finds its way into educational settings as she helps teachers and future teachers "get along" with the myriad of personal and professional challenges that come our way. Peggy resides in Bozeman, Montana and Oberlin, Ohio with her husband Harley and cairn terrier Cooper.

Kerry Filsinger

Kerry Filsinger is Assistant Professor of Music Education at SUNY Buffalo State in Buffalo, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in music education from Temple University, a B.M. in both harp performance and music education, and an M.M. in music education from the Eastman School of Music. Kerry taught pre-kindergarten through fifth grade music for six years in the Western New York area where she prioritized creativity and improvisation in music curricula. Additionally, she has taught through the Early Childhood Music Foundations program at Temple University and the Early Childhood Music program at the Eastman School of Music. Kerry is an active researcher, conference presenter, and clinician, at the state, national, and international levels. Her research interests include the role of environment in music learning, creativity, improvisation, and music literacy in early childhood and elementary music settings.

Rachel Pollard

Rachel Pollard received a B.S. in Music Education from Duquesne University, and a M. Ed. in Education and a Certificate of Educational Administration from Gannon University. Ms. Pollard is certified in the Orff-Schulwerk Pedagogy, having completed her Levels I, II, III and Masterclass, and is a Certified Master Teacher in Estill Voice Training. She serves nationally as a guest conductor and workshop clinician, specializing in vocal technique, choral pedagogy, treble repertoire and the Orff-Schulwerk pedagogical method. Ms. Pollard is an elementary music specialist for the Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, teaches Elementary Choral Methods for Duquesne University and maintains a full vocal coaching studio.

Rachel Whitcomb

Rachel Whitcomb is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Duquesne University. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education on the topics of early childhood and elementary general music, creativity, and music for students with special needs. Dr. Whitcomb also supervises student teachers and serves as the faculty advisor for the Duquesne collegiate chapter of NAfME. Her professional interests have included improvisation in elementary general music, rubrics as evaluative tools in music instruction, and the role of music in preschools. She recently created the Early Childhood Music Initiative, which allows undergraduate music education students to teach music in under served preschools in the Pittsburgh region. Her work has been published in Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music, The Kodály Envoy, and General Music Today. She has given presentations at local, state, regional, and national conferences and serves on the Editorial Board for Music Educators Journal.