Humanity in Music Education Conference

Humanity in Music Education Conference

August 67, 2021
Please check back for new dates.

2021 Theme:
From Trauma to Trust Through Music

This conference is the first to be held on the topic of humanity through music education. The conference will feature leaders in the field on topics including social-emotional learning (SEL); mindfulness; students with diverse needs; diversity, equity and inclusion; student leadership; student-centered learning; trauma-informed instruction; compassionate teaching; and growth mindset. Based on ground-breaking research and the results of implementation of these topics with students of all levels and abilities, this conference seeks to be a home for the future direction of music education.

We believe music is social, emotional and the key to developing trusting and meaningful relationships. We believe teaching students music is more important than teaching the subject matter of music. We believe our students deserve to experience the human experience in a diverse and safe environment. With this mindset, we invite you to join us as we share in learning about humanity in music education.

Interactive sessions, led by experts in the field, will help facilitate a deeper awareness of student needs and provide strategies to teach music with a greater understanding of the importance of trust in healing of trauma and the vital role music and music educators can play in this pivotal and timely process.

This conference will host on-site and live-streamed sessions.

Keynote speaker details coming soon!

Call for session presenters:

We welcome submissions regarding the above topics for the inaugural Humanity in Music Education Conference. Sessions may be 60 or 120 minutes in length. Two-hour sessions should focus on experiential opportunities for participants. Research presentations as well as research-to-practice presentations will gladly be considered.
Co-presentations and discussion panels are welcome.

The deadline for submission is February 1, 2021.
Presenters will be notified regarding acceptance by March 1, 2021, and we ask that presenters accept or decline prior to April 1. We look forward to greeting you in Chicago in August of 2021.


Dr. Alice Hammel

Hammel,_Alice_headshot_2020_CROPDr. Alice Hammel, Virginia’s Outstanding Music Educator of the Year (2018), is a widely known music educator, author and clinician whose experience in music is extraordinarily diverse. She is a member of the faculty of James Madison University, and has many years of experience teaching instrumental and choral music in public and private schools. She also teaches online courses through many institutions throughout the United States. She has also maintained a large, independent flute studio for over 25 years.

Dr. Hammel travels widely to universities during the school year to serve as in-residence scholar in the area of students with special needs. During summer months, Dr. Hammel teaches in graduate programs for music educators around the United States. Her expertise in those teaching situations ranges from musicianship, pedagogy, and teaching students who learn differently. This wide demand places her in close collaboration with PreK-12 music educators who are seeking to become better teachers and musicians.

Dr. Hammel is a co-author of four texts: Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-Free Approach (2nd ed., 2017), Teaching Music to Students with Autism, Winding It Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings, and Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Practical Resource (2017). Dr. Hammel has contributed chapters to several Oxford University Press resources including Composing Our Future (Kaschub and Smith, eds.) and Exceptional Pedagogy (McCord and Blair, eds.). She has also written chapters for GIA and Routledge Publication resources. Dr. Hammel is a contributing author to a variety of resources available through the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and has published widely in music, arts, special and general education journals.

Dr. Matthew Arau

Arau,_Matthew_headshotDr. Matthew Arau is the chair of the music education department and associate director of bands at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI. In addition, Dr. Arau is on the conducting faculty of the American Band College of Central Washington University and he is the founder of Upbeat Global. He also serves as a Conn-Selmer education clinician, and as a member-at-large on the NAfME Council for Band Education.

Dr. Arau has presented on mindfulness, leadership, growth mindset, rehearsal techniques, and creating positive cultures at the Midwest Clinic, the Western International Band Clinic, NAfME webinars, numerous State and Regional Music Education Association Conferences, the Conn-Selmer Institute, and universities, music camps, school districts, and schools in 26 states and on four continents. He has conducted honor bands in Australia, Greece, Cyprus and Malaysia, the Michigan and Utah All-State Middle School Honor Bands, and the South Carolina All-State Band, and honor bands across the country. He is published by C. Alan Publications, Bandworld Magazine, Conn-Selmer, SmartMusic, Everything Band Podcast, and The Instrumentalist and Hoonuit Online Learning.

Dr. Arau draws on a deep reservoir of 15 years’ experience as a successful middle school and high school band director in Loveland, CO, where he led his bands at Walt Clark Middle School and Loveland High School to numerous honor performances and championships and pioneered the Leadership Symposium. Dr. Arau holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting and literature from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Master of Science in Music Education degree from the American Band College. He graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental music education, music performance (classical), music performance (jazz studies), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in government.

Dr. Scott N. Edgar

Edgar,_Scott_headshot_2020Dr. Scott N. Edgar is associate professor of music, music education chair, and director of bands at Lake Forest College. Dr. Edgar is the author of Music Education and Social Emotional Learning: The Heart of Teaching Music and is an internationally sought-after clinician on the topic. In addition to clinics, he also teaches graduate courses on musical social emotional learning. He is an active clinician and adjudicator for both concert band and marching band, and regularly presents at professional development and research conferences. Dr. Edgar is a Conn-Selmer educational clinician and a VH1 Save the Music Foundation educational consultant.

2021 Humanity in Music Education Conference Details


In-person registration fee:
Early bird prior to July 1: $150
After July 1 and on-site: $200

Registration forms coming soon!

Registration includes continental breakfast for both days and cocktail hour.

College students: $50

For 1 graduate credit: $150

Remote fee: $100

Accommodation details coming soon!


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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