AMIS Music Educators’ Conference 2017 November 10-11, 2017

Kristen Roemer, Host Organizer

About the AMIS Music Educators’ Conference

The AMIS Music Educators’ Conference brings together 175 music educators from international schools on five continents. Workshops are offered for teachers of all levels, primary through high school. Presenters include reputable guest clinicians as well as our own teachers from AMIS classrooms around the world.

This intensive professional development opportunity for music teachers occurs annually
, alternating between Europe and Asia. Previous hosts have been

2012: The American School in London, England
2013: International School Bangkok, Thailand
2014: International School of Aberdeen, Scotland
2015: Korea International School, Seoul
2016: American School of Warsaw, Poland

AMIS is pleased to bring the 2017 AMIS Music Educators’ Conference to the American School of Dubai.

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Conference Hotel

Conference delegates will stay at the
Novotel Dubai Al Barsha
Opp Sharaf DG Metro Station
Sheikh Zayed Road Barsha 1
Tel (+971)4/3049000 – Fax (+971)4/3049100
Do not contact the hotel directly regarding bookings.

Conference Rates:
Single: AED550 per room per night
Twin: AED600 per room per night
Rates include taxes and breakfast.

Book your room using the RoomTrust system. Rates apply for the nights of November 9, 10, and 11. A credit card will be necessary to secure your reservation. Please do not contact the hotel directly.

If your travel plans involve arrival in Dubai prior to the booking window, or you would like to extend your stay beyond the booking window, please book your room as usual and contact RoomTrust directly with your specific extension request, quoting your booking reference number.

Enter the RoomTrust System Here
Use Booking Code Vnc3Pzt5


Charanga International: Vibrant, Modern Resource to Enrich Music Teaching and Learning • Madeleine Casson
This practical session will explore Charanga International’s 

  • comprehensive classroom music resources which bring together great music, modern pedagogy and latest educational technology
  • rich array of instrumental materials – ideal for the earlier stages of learning
  • lesson building with simple upload and sharing functionality
  • Music World- a safe online space for students allowing them to learn, develop and extend their musicianship skills and access any resources their teacher has shared 

Come along to find out why 65,000 teachers worldwide are using Charanga!

Choral Reading Session • Adrienne Gerst
J.W. Pepper, Inc. has generously sponsored this reading session. Reading packets will be provided on a first come, first served basis to attendees. Options for Middle School through High School choral ensembles will be explored, including music from J.W. Pepper’s Editor’s Choice List, an annual series that presents the best new titles for the school year. Come prepared to sing and have fun!

The Conductor’s Role • Travis Cross
This session explores what we hope to accomplish as conductors of musical ensembles; how we study and prepare for rehearsal; the fundamental relationship between conductor, score, and ensemble; and common barriers to success, progress, and growth. Though primarily philosophical in nature, the session also includes participation in technical and expressive gestural exercises.

How We Connected the Arts to History and the World   •  Cyndi Campbell
Using the book The Amazing Adventures of Ibn Battuta by Fatima Sharafeddine, our 5th grade students joined music and dance from Europe, the Middle East, Eastern Africa, India and China to create a full-scale performance. 120 students combined 12 song selections, 6 traditional style dances, classroom instruments, 5th grade string ensemble and lots of energy to bring their unit on explorers and explorations of life. How did we organize it all? How did all the pieces come together?  This workshop will begin with a show-and-tell of our process and continue with a share session of how other schools use history as a starting point to connect to classroom units. 

Creating in Choir: Using composition and improvisation in the Choral Classroom • Stephanie Gravelle
Often, ensemble directors spend the majority if not all their rehearsal time on concert repertoire written by someone else.  In this session, I will give examples of doable exercises and projects that can be used in middle and high school choirs to get your students improvising and composing.  Creating their own music gives students a sense of ownership they may not get from standard choral literature and improves their general musicianship.  Arranging and composing can lead to academic questions often left only to music theory classes.  All choral classrooms can have a version of creating that will not destroy the program, but rather enhance what you are already doing.

Creative Movement in Early Childhood • Tina Arenas
Movement exploration in early childhood develops self-awareness through kinesthetic learning and creative problem solving. Using the body to communicate, children develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship to others. Because exploration of space through movement remains a fundamental component of the learning process, using the body as an instrument allows children to find their inner musician and dancer. In this session, participants will explore applications for creative movement that focus on the elements of body and space. Materials presented are suitable for early childhood learners.

Curriculum Development for K-12 Music Programs: Scaffolding Student Success • Nyssa Brown
A vertically-aligned curriculum can help students learn efficiently and effectively. In this session, a process for unpacking standards and creating curriculum that increases in rigor from year to year will be modeled and facilitated. Participants will have time to work on standards and curriculum specific to their own classroom.  Please bring standards from your own classroom, if possible.

Deliberate Practice: Expanding Musical Potential  • Michael Griffin
Many teachers focus instruction on what to practice, but the how of practice is the most important concern. Children who are unable to motivate themselves to apply deliberate practice strategies will lack real progress. Progress is the great motivator. If students do not think they are making progress, they quit trying. The best predictor of musical progress is the quality and quantity of practice time. Types of repetition, chunking, and slow practice must be core. Engaging music students in metacognitive practice processes is the most effective means of guaranteeing progress. What is required is not just that students engage in the proper practice strategies, but that they know what they are, and are consciously aware of using them. How is this taught explicitly, and how can we be certain that students really understand practice?

Developing Part-Singing Skills in School-Age Musicians – Part I: Foundations • Georgia Newlin
This workshop examines the sequential development of part-singing skills in school-age singers to help students acquire the ability to sustain a given voice part in a multi-part context. Purposefully identifying, naming, and teaching these techniques produces more singers able to fulfill their potential as self-sufficient musicians in a choral setting. Covers Readiness, Singing, and Rhythmic/Melodic Part-Work Skills.

Developing Part-Singing Skills in School-Age Musicians – Part II: Part-Singing • Georgia Newlin
This workshop examines the sequential development of part-singing skills in school-age singers to help students acquire the ability to sustain a given voice part in a multi-part context. Purposefully identifying, naming, and teaching these techniques produces more singers able to fulfill their potential as self-sufficient musicians in a choral setting. Covers Polyphonic and Homophonic Part-Singing Skills.

Digital Portfolios in an Ensemble Setting: Using Technology to Make Large Classes Seem Small  • Jay Londgren
This session will discuss both virtual assessment (audio and video) in the ensemble classroom and the organization of that assessment media into online portfolios that track student progress over multiple years. Through a combination of YouTube and Schoology these portfolios allow students to track their progress over both the short and long term. They also allow cross commenting by students on their peer’s work both within and between ensembles, and potentially between schools across the globe. They provide tangible evidence of student progress for both parents and administration. The use of online learning management systems (in this case Schoology) to streamline grading, assessment file management and student privacy issues will also be discussed.

Fun with Folkdance • Sarah Hassler
World folk dances are an integral part of all music curriculums.  This session will explore folk dances that can be taught to all ages and how to make them accessible and fun!  Great tips for breaking down a dance and teaching it will be explored. Dress comfortably and be prepared to move!

Habits of Highly Successful Percussion Sections   •   Juan Manuel Arenas
Giving percussionists the opportunity to contribute to the band rehearsal is well worth the careful planning it entails. This hands-on session will focus on three ways to help your percussion section successfully navigate the band rehearsal and performance. Topics covered will include:

  1. Habits and Routines: Organization before, during, and after the band rehearsal
  2. Controlled Touch: Technique tips and tricks for confident percussion performance
  3. Directed Listening: Balance and blend within the section and the band

IB Diploma Program Round Table Discussion • Chris Suazo
This roundtable is for teachers new or experienced teaching IB Music SL and HL. It will be an open discussion of topics generated by its attendees. Such topics might include assessments, the electronic submission process, the listening exam and using mp3 files, share best practices, and discuss how to meet the requirements as stated in the music guide.

The Interactive Rehearsal: Empowering Students to Think, Listen, and Move • Travis Cross PRIMARY / INTERMEDIATE / HS / INSTRUMENTAL
How do we get beyond simply telling our students when and how to play and instead engage their minds, ears, and bodies in every rehearsal? This session presents several simple strategies for teaching creative and collaborative ensemble skills that help students play with more accuracy, flexibility, and expression.

“Insta-grating” Social Media into Music Education • Ross Jennings
In this workshop, Mr. Jennings speaks about how social media has influenced his musical adventure, and how it can be integrated into music education. 

  • Social media and its influence on the journey.
    • Creating a footprint. Starting out and getting noticed.
    • Managing interactions and expectations.
    • Making a living from social media.
  • Social media in Music Education
    • Social media in the world of music
    • Educating through social media
    • Case Studies. 
    • Integrating social media in the classroom

Leveraging Technology in Your Classroom • Dan Massoth
This workshop will help assist participants with the selection of the latest music education technologies. More importantly, discussions will be focused around guiding principals and philosophies of technology integration, leading to more effective, engaging and efficient teaching and learning.

The Magic of Musical Metacognition • Michael Griffin
Metacognitive teaching has the greatest impact on learning. It is that wonderful learning stage when the learner drives the learning. An umbrella term, metacognition means “thinking about our thinking”. It includes planning, questioning, monitoring, memorization, self-reflection, self-knowledge about our learning strengths and weaknesses, and self-evaluation. It involves understanding our motivations, setting goals, knowing which practice strategies to implement, and being able to exercise self-discipline. It’s about knowing when and how to use practice strategies for maximum learning. Metacognition enhances autonomy, powerfully impacting intrinsic motivation. How is this maximized in music teaching? Supported by the work of John Hattie and Gary McPherson, and specifically for music teachers, a tripartite model for fostering metacognition will be presented.

Making a Jigsaw Puzzle • Sarah Hassler
This session highlights the process of discovering symmetry, asymmetry, negative and positive space in fun activities culminating in making a human jigsaw puzzle. Dress comfortably and be prepared to move!

Mongolian Chopsticks Dance • Cyndi Campbell
This traditional dance from Mongolia can be done in many forms. Originally performed by single men during harvest festivals, the dancer holds a bunch of chopsticks in each of his hands, using them as percussive instruments to match the strong tempo of the music.  After 1950 this kind of dance was adapted to groups of men and women, which allowed for new movements and formations. A simplified version for younger children will be taught. Chopsticks provided; you bring the enthusiasm needed for a fun session. 

Moving through Story and Song • Tina Arenas
Young children are asked to combine social expectations with learning, by moving in shared space, taking turns, and participating in a thoughtful manner. Through music and movement experiences, children are guided to balance individual and group responses, recognize problems, and find new solutions. Repetition of musical material through novelty fosters student engagement and conceptual understanding. In this session, participants will explore action songs, singing games, and stories that foster deeper understanding of musical and movement concepts for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten musicians.

Musical Enigmas: Solving Canons Written as Puzzles • Georgia Newlin
While using folksongs to teach musical concepts is a hallmark of Kodály’s vision and philosophy, the natural extension of literacy is to relate these constructs to the larger musical lexicon. This workshop will focus on canons that are to be solved as puzzles. Easy canons for younger students include simple rhythms and pentachordal melodies that can be sung in 2- to 4-parts. Others, written for multiple voice parts, can be quite complex with challenging rhythms and set in interesting scales or modes; many have been presented without a key to unlocking the puzzle. Stretch your brain and refresh your musicianship skills.

Personalized Learning in the Ensemble Classroom • Cindy Bulteel
Personalized learning is a key concept in many schools now and focusing on this in a music ensemble helps students to see where they fit in a school-wide program.  This workshop will focus on one approach to incorporate Personalized Learning into an ensemble classroom using student profiles, self-assessment rubrics and design tasks for students to see how to progress and develop their skills over a school year. 

Purpose and Connection in the Learning Community: To the Heart of It  •  Melanie Brink
How do we promote a sense of belonging and connection with our students? Among our colleagues? As an essential first step and yearlong approach to the learning process, To the Heart of It is a model of intentionally designed strategies that Melanie engages with her students. In this workshop, participants will explore a variety of community building, mindfulness, and thematic ‘glue’ exercises that can help generate an ethos of individual and group trust,commitment, and spirit…ultimately impacting the growth of the group/ensemble.

PYP Roundtable Discussion • Julie Kivell Overlie
Join Julie Kivell Overlie as she facilitates a group discussion on the music classroom within the IB Primary Years Programme. Share your ideas on integration with the grade level’s program of inquiry, creating stand-alone music units using the PYP planner, and how to integrate the essential elements of PYP into the music classroom.

Singing: A Whole Body Approach • Roberta Cunningham
This is a hands-on lecture and masterclass by a professional vocal clinician. Ms Cunningham will discuss importance of warming up the whole body for singing as well as lead the group in breathing technique. Also discussed will be placement, the “open” throat, and effective vocalization exercises. 

Spice it up! Add Context to Music with Percussion   •   Juan Manuel Arenas
Regardless of the skill level or musical content area, appropriately adding percussion to a musical experience provides context and enhances meaning.  This hands-on session will provide all types of music teachers with fun ways to incorporate percussion parts or sounds into musical selections.  Topics covered will include:

  1. Ostinati: Layering for a strong and enjoyable sense of pulse
  2. Soundscapes: Establishing a setting of place or mood
  3. World Music: Combining the right sounds and grooves for your group

Standards-Based Assessment in the Music Classroom: The What, Why and How • Nyssa Brown
Standards-based assessment is a powerful tool for responsive, differentiated teaching in the music classroom. This session includes a rationale for standards-based assessment, music-specific examples of assessments and a suggested process for creating assessments for the music classroom. Please bring standards from your own classroom, if possible.

Standards-Based Grading with an Ensemble Mentality • Jay Londgren
This session will outline the current practices the HS music department at Singapore American School is developing and implementing with regards to Standards Based Grading. The concepts of “common strands,” “power standards” and making standards both manageable for you and relevant to your students will be discussed. Specific tips and tricks related to PowerSchool and Schoology will be shared, as well as advice for key conversations to have with administration to ensure common understanding and mutual support.

Standards Based Grading in the Music Classroom: A Roundtable Discussion  • Jay Londgren
Standards Based Grading is impacting all of us to some degree. This session will serve as a forum to bring questions, concerns, ideas, past experiences, past successes and advice to the wider AMIS music educator community. Time can be allotted to a panel discussion, small group brainstorming or large group time depending on the needs to the group. Contact information of participants will be made available to all attendees and a specific effort will be made to collect the various ideas and materials shared in the session into one easily accessible document.

The State of Our Art • Travis Cross
What’s happening of note in the world of concert band and wind ensemble? Learn about some of the most exciting new works written for winds over the past few years and hear about some up-and-coming composers who are already making their mark on the band repertoire.

String Repertoire Session • Cindy Bulteel
Choosing good repertoire if often the most time-consuming and difficult part of lesson planning.  Giving students a balance of technical development, musical development enjoyment and satisfaction is a delicate balance. This session will look at sample concert programs, the rationale behind the choices and what went well (and not so well).  Bring a concert program example to the session to share!

Strings for Non-String Teachers • Cindy Bulteel
How often have we been asked to teach a class (either as a substitute or for longer-term) for which we don’t have the technical know-how?  This seems to happen more frequently with strings! This session will cover some of the basics for taking a string class (beginners to intermediate level) and help you to help students.

Successful Teaching of Choral Octavos: Note, Not Rote • Georgia Newlin
In a literacy-based curriculum, teaching a choral octavo successfully takes more than just learning to sing the tune from beginning to end. Instead, it is important to lead students to understand musical relationships by rehearsing each octavo in short segments based on the form of the piece through the understanding of same/different/similar. Delve into multiple rehearsal techniques for each octavo through literacy-based lesson segments for rhythmic, melodic, formal, and harmonic understanding.

Talk to the Wall • Sarah Hassler
Many teachers want to foster meaningful creative movement and folk dancing with their students. In this session, explore all of the basic movement concepts : Locomotor, Nonlocomoter, Levels, Energy (Smooth, Sharp), Space, Pathways, Relationships, Body Parts, Directions, Body Facings are addressed. When the students experience and can name the actions and concepts, they “own” them.  Having the words on a Word Wall will help the students as they translate the myriad of activities from exploration to improvisation to composition and patterns.  Talk to the Wall!! Dress comfortably and be prepared to move!

Teaching Music Composition with Garage Band • Dan Massoth
Learn how to use this powerful Apple software in meaningful lessons that teach creativity through music composition. We’ll spend time with the loops, recording, and sound generation features in the program and build a framework that guides students with learning how to create their own sounds. For PC schools/users, many of the same GarageBand features are also available on a program called Soundtrap.

Three is Not an Odd Number • Sarah Hassler
This session will begin with a movement exploration of feeling and responding to three meter through a listening activity coupled with movement. Using a body percussion piece in three meter will be transferred to the barred instruments, unpitched instruments, hand drums and put into a creative movement form.  Finally, a folk dance in three meter with three people as partners will be taught. Dress comfortably and be prepared to move!

Tradition-based vs. Research-based Methodologies: Questioning our Teaching Strategies • Tianna Smith
Are your teaching habits based on venerable traditions or proven research? In this session we will explore the origins and validity of our current teaching practices while investigating relevant, peer-reviewed research in music education, which AMIS teachers can use to improve their own teaching. Through careful consideration of our current pedagogical effectiveness we will learn how to supplement our knowledge and experience with tried and true research.

We Are What We Play: Developing a Programming Philosophy  • Travis Cross
Perhaps no decision is more important than what music our students study and perform. This clinic offers creative, educational, and practical strategies to help teachers design concert programs that reflect their musical values and provide their band students a “balanced diet” of musical styles, techniques, and genres.

Fees and Registration

For registrations received on or before 10 October 2017:
AMIS Members
– £185
Non-Members – £250


For registrations received after 10 October 2017:
AMIS Members – £200
Non-Members – £270

Fees include ground transportation on Friday and Saturday
as well as a conference banquet on Friday evening.

Invoices are issued in pounds sterling with the exception of those schools located in the
euro zone, who are billed in euros.The euro amount will be determined by the
exchange rates quoted by the AMIS bank on the day the invoice is issued.

•Please be advised that AMIS fees are never refundable•

Registration Opens on 12 April 2017

Please note that the registration system is not compatible with the Firefox web browser.


Featured Clinicians

Michael Griffin is the author of Learning Strategies for Musical Success.  He is an educator, speaker, author, pianist and conductor. An Australian citizen, he has been the Keynote or Consultant Speaker at numerous global education events including the European Council for International Schools (Hamburg and Nice), Association of International Schools Africa Educators’ Conference (South Africa), English Schools’ Foundation (Hong Kong), International Educators Conference (Brunei), and numerous conferences throughout Australia and the UK. Michael has presented to staff, student and parent groups for 300 schools in more than 25 countries. He is a recipient of the South Australian Education and Arts Ministers’ Prize.

Mr. Griffin has written seven books. In addition to Learning Strategies for Musical Success, his publications include Developing Musical Skill – For Students as well as Bumblebee! Rounds & Warm-ups for Choirs. As a conductor, Michael’s ensembles have received more than 40 prizes and awards (half of these first prizes) in Australian competitions including the Australasian Open Choral Championship. A pianist, Michael’s residencies include Dubai’s Burj al Arab and Australia’s Hayman Island. Recordings include the compilations Consolation (2013) and Shimmer (2014).

Dr. Travis J. Cross serves as associate professor of music and department vice chair at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band and directs the graduate wind conducting program. He holds a concurrent appointment as associate dean for academic mentoring and opportunity in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. 

Dr. Cross’s more than 20 original compositions and arrangements are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Daehn Publications, and Theodore Music. He has appeared as a guest conductor, composer, and clinician in several states; Canada, China, Korea, Thailand; and at the Midwest Clinic and leads honor bands and other ensembles in Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, and Singapore during the 2016–17 season. Cross is a Yamaha Master Educator.

Dr. Georgia A. Newlin is Associate Professor of Music Education at Adelphi University on Long Island, NY. She has taught in early childhood and public school music positions for fifteen years and at the collegiate level for thirteen. Currently, Georgia is called upon as a conductor for choral festivals, as a clinician for choral workshops, reading sessions and intermediate grade methodology, and as a consultant for curriculum planning. She teaches musicianship, conducting, and ensemble in Kodály programs at Indiana University, University of Hawai’i, and James Madison University.

Georgia is Past President of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and is a member of The VoiceCare Network. She has been a presenter for numerous music associations and conferences at local, state, national and international levels. She has had articles published in journals such as the Choral Journal, Orff Echo, Kodály Envoy, and Southwestern Musician. She served for three years on the Music Educators Journal Advisory Committee for the National Association for Music Education. Music Is Elementary has published her new book, One Accord: Developing Part-Singing Skills in School-Age Musicians, as well as her lesson plans for teaching music literacy through choral singing in The Crooked River Choral Project.  Her choral arrangements are published under Colla Voce.

Dr. Newlin holds a DMA in Pedagogy from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, a Master of Music in Music Education from Holy Names University, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from West Chester University. She considers herself most fortunate in that, through her vocation, she has spent her life making music with others.

Jay Londgren is Director of HS Bands and Jazz at Singapore American School. He is in his 11th year of teaching, all of which have been overseas. Prior to SAS he was Head of Music and Director of Bands at Korea International School and PreS-12 music director at CIPLC in Barcelona, Venezuela. He is a founding member and Past-President of the Korea International Music Educators Association .

Jay has done extensive work on using technology in the classroom to enhance individual assessment and feedback in a large class setting. He has also been highly involved in standards-based grading development and implementation in the performing arts department at SAS. He has presented workshops on digital portfolios and standards-based assessment for large ensembles at conferences in Singapore, Thailand, Scotland and Korea.

Sarah Hassler is the elementary music specialist at the American International School Chennai. She recently relocated to India from the US where she taught grades K-5 at Cherry Tree Elementary School in Carmel, Indiana. She has taught students ranging in age from toddlers through college in instrumental as well as general music. Mrs. Hassler was a conductor with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She is a graduate of Capital University with a Masters of Education with Kodaly Emphasis and The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Music Education. She received her Orff-Schulwerk Certification and Curriculum from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota).

 She has taught Orff-Schulwerk Certification Levels in movement and recorder at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana and DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Hassler has presented sessions at the National AOSA Conferences; the Indiana Music Educator’s Association conferences; and, the National OAKE Conference. In addition to presenting workshops, she enjoys serving as guest conductor of children’s choirs. This past year she served as the IMEA Elementary Honors Choir conductor.


Juan Manuel Arenas has taught percussion in school band programs for over 20 years. As a percussion educator, clinician, and adjudicator, he has experienced the integration of percussion in a wide variety of levels and ages. Currently, Mr. Arenas teaches at the American School of Dubai as an elementary music teacher. He also helps to run an after-school percussion ensemble program at ASD.

Tina Arenas teaches Music and Movement at the American School of Dubai. Prior to Dubai, she taught elementary general music in Texas. Tina holds a Master of Music Education from the University of St. Thomas and has completed Kodály and Orff levels courses. She has presented workshops for teachers at national and state conferences, served as a cooperating teacher for student teachers, and performed as an educational artist-in-residence for universities. Tina enjoys learning about global music and movement traditions and early childhood development.

Melanie Brink teaches choral music at the American International School of Muscat, Oman. A native of South Dakota, she holds a degree in Vocal Music Education is from Augustana University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Southwest Minnesota University.  Since 2004, she has served as the founder and Artistic Director of TAISM’s annual Festival of Choirs. She oversees the coordination of the event and works closely with each year’s guest conductor from the United States. Over 3,000 students have participated in the TAISM festival in 14 years. Melanie is also a member of American Choral Director’s Association. She loves to challenge her students to audition for the prestigious AMIS honor choirs and treasures being part of the AMIS family.  

Nyssa Brown is an elementary music teacher at the American School of the Hague in the Netherlands.  She draws on her K-9 vocal/choral music experience in the US and abroad while presenting at local, regional, national, and international conferences on topics that include global music, 21st Century Skills in the music classroom, technology integration, curriculum/assessment writing and professional learning.  In the recent development of the National Core Arts Standards, Nyssa served as a Grade 3-5 sub-committee member. Ms. Brown served as Music Education Coordinator for Minnesota’s Perpich Center for Arts Education and coached teachers in over 100 school districts across the state of Minnesota. 

Cindy Bulteel has been the Orchestra Director and Performing Arts Coordinator at the International School of Beijing for 20 years, teaching ES, MS and HS strings, as well as IB Music and some MS and HS Band classes. A member of the AMIS Board of Trustees, she has hosted many MS and HS band, choir, jazz and orchestra festivals and also the first AMIS Technology and Composition Workshop.  In November this year she is hosting the AMIS Workshop for Students and Teachers of IB Music – East She has presented workshops on technique and performance, cross-curricular projects and host-culture integration as well as festival mini-workshops on IB components.

Cyndi Campbell teaches grades 3-5 at the International School of Beijing. Originally from Massachusetts, USA, she has taught the Performing Arts at all grade levels, starting in the secondary grades, and after years of shifting, finally found her home in upper elementary. She is in her 25thyear at ISB, where she also coordinates the after-school program.

Roberta Cunningham is an American-trained opera singer/voice teacher, having graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BA in voice performance, BA in Education and MFA in Opera Performance. She continued her studies at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz in 1980 and the Hochschule für Music und Darstellende Kunst in Hannover, Germany.  She has been living in Germany since 1980, and has sung in opera houses as a soprano soloist in Austria and Germany with guest performances in Switzerland and Cairo.  She is a sought-after speaker and masterclass leader, and teaches privately in 5 cities in Germany, in Aarhus, Denmark, as well as Vienna… and Dubai.

Stephanie Gravelle is a Middle/High School Music Teacher at the American School of Doha.  She holds a BFA in vocal performance from Carnegie Mellon University and a Masters in Music and Music Education from Teachers College Columbia University.  Inspired by her professors at Columbia, Stephanie strives to integrate technology and creativity into all of her classes.  Stephanie continues to study voice in Doha and performs regularly with her small adult ensemble, Wall of Women.

Adrienne J. Gerst is the High School Choir Director at The American School of Dubai. She is in her eighteenth year of teaching this school year. Prior to moving with her family to Dubai, she was a Music Educator in Northeast Iowa for 15 years, and she has experience at the Elementary, Middle School, High School, and University levels.  Adrienne is a graduate of Luther College, and holds her Master’s Degree in Education from Viterbo University. 

Ross Jennings is a travelling British musician, adventurer and Guinness World Record Holder. He’s spent most of his life living and working outside of the UK, and completed a degree in Economics and Chinese at the University of Edinburgh. In May 2014, Ross embarked on his lifelong journey to play the bagpipes in every country of the world. He now travels full time with his bagpipes doing seminars and workshops at international schools.

Daniel J. Massoth is a nationally-known presenter of music technology curriculum integration techniques, having presented sessions in more than 20 states. While working at MakeMusic, Dan guided the business and technical development of the SmartMusic learning software and repertoire. With degrees from the University of Minnesota (B.S., M.A.), Dan has taught in Minnesota and currently teaches instrumental music and serves as Head of Arts at the American International School in Kuwait. He has also served on the executive board of the Minnesota Band Directors Association and as technology chair for the Minnesota Music Educators Association.

Julie Kivell Overlie is the elementary music teacher at American International School Dhaka. She has taught elementary music for fourteen years, ten of those in international schools. Prior to Dhaka, she taught at Shekou International School and Singapore American School. She is married with two sons in middle school.

Tianna Smith teaches K-12 voice and choir at Kodaikanal International School in India, where she also serves as the music director for school productions. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music, Spanish and Chinese from Presbyterian College (S. Carolina) and is pursuing a Masters of Music Education in Choral Pedagogy from the University of Kansas. Tianna and her husband moved to India 2 years ago after teaching in both Taiwan and Colorado. Her research interests include non-western music notation and the use of imagery in vocal instruction.

Chris Suazo is beginning his eleventh year of teaching at the American School of  Madrid. Prior to that, he taught band for sixteen years at the elementary, middle and high school levels in Colorado, twelve of which were in the Boulder Valley School District. He currently teaches middle school band, upper school band, jazz band, and IB Music.  He earned his Ph.D in Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2003.


Plan to chat with representatives from three of AMIS’ Corporate Members:


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