International Conference "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theater Design & Technology

December 18 - 22, 2014


Arts Leadership in the Classroom:
A Look into the Contemporary K-12 American Music Classroom

Interactive talk, lecture and discussion by Professor Elizabeth S.Palmer (USA) -
Educator, Composer, Performer and Clinician, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Elizabeth S. Palmer is an active educator, composer, performer and clinician. She is currently in the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program at the Flora L. Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in Music Education. 

Prior to enrolling at USC, Elizabeth served as a K-12 instrumental music program for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Her classes consisted of elementary and middle school band, and teaching high school brass ensemble. Described as a talented, gifted, and innovative educator, 
Elizabeth has founded Modern Maestro, Inc., an outreach program for K-12 students with a strong interest in music. In addition to her passion for music education outreach and issues of social justice and inclusion, her research focuses on uses of the transformational leadership model in the K-12 music classroom. Her continued research seeks to investigate the role of personality traits (Myers-Briggs Typology, True Colors, etc.) and interest inventory (Strong Interest Inventory) in developing self-efficacy, agency, and leadership style in pre-service music educators.

An active composer since 2002, Elizabeth has written for wide range of mediums, from computer-generated tape to orchestra. Her most recent work, Beyond Space and Time was premiered by the Prince George’s Philharmonic in their 2013-2014 concert season.


The United States has a long standing tradition of formal music education in public and private schools. Music making and engagement opportunities range from general music instruction to
performance based classes such as band, choir, and orchestra. Although music education has survived as a fixture in American primary and secondary formal education, music education has struggled to remain relevant in the changing landscape of urban education and Hip-Hop Culture.

Public and private K-12 schools are cultural centers due to their commitment to teaching the visual and performing arts. While the degree to which a school is fully committed to the arts via finances, curricular development, community engagement, etc., varies from school to school, it still remains true that schools and educators bear some responsibility for sharing culture with their students through the arts. Questions that must be asked include: Is the curriculum offered in schools equipped to propel culture forward through the arts? What are the possible issues arts educators need to consider in order to facilitate authentic artistic and culturally relevant experiences for their students?

To address these questions Elizabeth S. Palmer will facilitate a discussion centered on the changing demographics of her home school district, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland, United States, the convergence of Hip-Hop Culture and Western Art Music idioms in the classroom, and the benefits of partnerships between community music organizations.

The presentation will also provide sample lesson plans and sequences related to American Music Education. 

Presentation Plan:
  • Introduction and Overview.
  • Discussion:
    - Changing Demographics in Prince George’s County, MD.
    - Hip-Hop Culture.
  • Interventions:
    - Convergence of Hip-Hop and Western Art Music.
    Tools for the classroom.
  • Closing: 
    - Questions/Answers.
    - Final Thoughts.

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"