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Crane School of Music Professor and Students Present at National Conferences

Collins Research Conference
Presenters at the National Association for Music Education Research Conference included (from left): Derek Bull, Dr. Danni Gilbert, Jacqueline Saunier, Olivia Rehm and Dr. Caron Collins.

Four music education students from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music had the opportunity to present the results of their music education research project at national conferences this year. Led by Associate Professor of Music Education Dr. Caron Collins, the group of four hard-working undergraduates were invited to present at two conferences sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.

The group was first invited to present at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Research Conference in Atlanta in March 2016.

Titled “Curious, Collaborative and Creative: Developing the CCC Approach to Elementary and Secondary School Music Ensembles,” their poster presentation focused on a student-based approach that the researchers piloted in school band, choir and orchestra ensembles in several K-12 schools and two universities. Dr. Danni Gilbert of Doane University in Nebraska collaborated with the group on the project.

Collins and her students were also recently invited to present a hands-on workshop in November, at NAfME’s National Teacher In-Service Conference, held in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to sharing the CCC approach with teachers from around the country, Collins was also invited to author a blog post for the organization’s website.

The student presenters included Crane seniors Brandon Bromsey ’17, Derek Bull ’17, Olivia Rehm ’17 and Jacqueline Saunier ’17. The students participated in the research as part of their instrumental practicum course, in which they taught beginning band students.

According to Collins, in the first step of the Curious, Collaborative Creativity model, music is selected through a democratic process, in which students generate a “wish list” of music to be studied and performed based on their interests.

Next, students are divided into teams to work together within the full ensemble and share the responsibilities of planning, rehearsing, reflecting and evaluating.

Finally, the ensembles culminate their efforts by facilitating an “Informance” to demonstrate the process of teaching and learning over the course of the semester, inform stakeholders and involve the audience in the music-making experience.

The research project and conference presentations were funded in part by the Mango-Flatt Family Endowment for Music Education Research at The Crane School of Music, established in 2015 by Crane alumna Mary Ann Mango Flatt, Class of 1975, and her husband, Dean. The fund provides financial support for Crane faculty and students to conduct research on topics, issues, questions or problems related to pre-college music education, and to present their findings to audiences on the regional, national and international level.

Additional funding was also provided by The Crane School of Music, Doane University, and the New York State School Music Association.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please 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.

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Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Office of Public Affairs,
(315) 267-2918