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Expanding our Scope: How ABME Can Support Classroom Music Educators

Empowering Movement - logo for conference 2023

Noelle Rader

Many students learn about music and music performance in primary and secondary classrooms each year. Classroom music educators are an important group of musicians and teachers who potentially have an extremely large influence due to the number of students they teach. Two studies (Ross, 2022; Rader, 2023) have documented the implementation of Body Mapping principles into beginning string classrooms, demonstrating the adaptability and value of the Body Mapping method. Wellness and prevention education are critical conversations happening in music education spheres and Body Mapping can become a vital part of necessary changes in music classrooms. I will share my experiences as a classroom music educator who sought out Body Mapping and now actively uses it in my classroom teaching, in addition to relevant results of my doctoral dissertation study examining the use of Body Mapping integrated with string pedagogy (Rader, 2023). I will offer insights into the specific challenges of classroom music teaching and how Body Mapping can offer essential vocabulary and knowledge for music educators to teach the “art of movement in music” ( Finally, I will propose actions ABME affiliates, licensure trainees, and LBMEs can take to increase classroom music educators’ access to Body Mapping and how to support them in making somatic education the norm for young musicians in music classrooms.

Noelle Rader is the orchestra teacher at Mendive Middle School in Sparks, NV where she teaches over 200 6-8 graders each year. She recently completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Education at Boston University, and has other degrees from Brigham Young University and Sierra Nevada College. Her research interests include body awareness, prevention education, and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). As a professional violist, she performs with the Reno Philharmonic and is the principal violist of the Northern Nevada String Serenade. Noelle enjoys podcasts and audiobooks, milk chocolate, yoga, pop culture, and paddleboarding.

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