Crane School of Music Honors Past, Looks to Future with Teacher Education Symposium


Julia Etta Crane founded the institute that would become The Crane School of Music in 1886, with a focus on educating music teachers.

Drawing on its rich history as a pioneering institution for music education, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will host a unique symposium looking at the future of the field from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15.

The Crane Symposium on Music Teacher Education will bookend the College’s recently-completed celebrations of the 125th anniversary of The Crane School of Music. Julia Ettie Crane, who founded the School that now bears her name, was ahead of her time in 1886 when she launched a curriculum to educate music teachers to be prepared for excellence in the classroom. Today, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music continues to be a leading institution in the United States for both music education and infusing the arts throughout the curriculum.

The Crane School of Music will host an array of presentations, panels, conversations and music teaching/learning demonstrations from Thursday, Sept. 13 to Saturday, Sept. 15.

“Whether you are a prospective student, a current undergraduate or graduate student, a college or university professor or administrator, or an active or retired member in the profession, we actively seek to connect with those who wish to perpetuate our rich heritage and participate in a community of ideas regarding innovative music teaching and learning,” said symposium organizer Dr. Mark R. Campbell, professor of music education at Crane.

The symposium will provide an opportunity for exploring and sharing current thinking, scholarly advances and teaching practices from foremost teachers, researchers and musicians. Participants will consider what role music teachers should play in preparing all of their students for life-long learning in music. The symposium seeks to articulate what role teacher education programs should play in educating future music teachers so that they may best respond to change and societal needs.

SUNY Potsdam undergraduate and graduate students from The Crane School of Music will present their research at the symposium. Participants will also be invited to an open interactive rehearsal performance with the Crane Latin Ensemble, led by Dr. Marsha Baxter, featuring visual artist Amy Swartelé of the College’s Department of Art.

In addition to participating Crane music education faculty, the visiting panelists and speakers from other universities include:
• Joseph Abramo, assistant clinical professor at the University of Connecticut;
• Randall Allsup, associate professor of music education at Teachers College, Columbia University;
• James Austin, professor of music education and associate dean for undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder;
• Janet R. Barret, associate professor of music at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music;
• Robert Cutietta, director of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music;
• Jeffrey Kimpton, president of the Interlochen Center for the Arts;
• Marsha Kindall-Smith, co-chair emerita of music education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee;
• Sandra Stauffer, professor of music at Arizona State University;
• Linda Thompson, associate professor of music at Lee University;
• Evan Tobias, assistant professor of music at Arizona State University, and
• Betty Anne Younker, dean of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario.

A number of Crane School of Music alumni who are currently teaching music will also return to their alma mater to speak at the symposium. They will be joined by guest school board members from across New York State.

For more information on the symposium schedule and list of participants, as well as instructions on how to register, visit

The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam boasts one of the oldest and largest music teacher preparation programs in North America. In fact, music education is the largest major in terms of undergraduate degrees awarded at the College today.

To learn more about the tradition of innovation at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.