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Two Teachers Named Yale University Distinguished Music Educators

April 23, 2009
Carol Davis and Mary Hochkeppel, two music teachers in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), have been named Distinguished Music Educators by Yale University and will be among 50 delegates to the 2009 Symposium on Music in School to be held at Yale this summer. The symposium will feature workshops with other music educators, including a session exploring El Sistema, Venezuela’s unique music education system.


Carol Davis, teacher and choral director at Richie Park Elementary School, is known for her creative approaches to integrating music into the academic curriculum. For example, her students create books of song lyrics and “soundscapes” inspired by poetry. She works extensively with English language learners, using multicultural music selections and tangible objects to support students’ comprehension skills, and encourages students to share music and instruments from their culture. To promote parent understanding of the music program, she developed a mystery composer game where students and their families identify famous composers by using clues. She also writes a newsletter, Quarter Notes, to keep parents informed about upcoming music events and classroom instruction.



Mary Hochkeppel, a teacher at Sligo Creek Elementary School, has been a music educator for more than 28 years, Hochkeppel is in her third year as music specialist and chorus and dance team director at Sligo Creek. She leads 70 third graders in the Sun Catchers dance team and 75 fourth and fifth graders in the Solar Flares dance team. In addition, Hochkeppel directs a 200-student chorus and the All-Star Orff Ensemble percussion group, where 25 students learn to play drums, xylophones and metallophones. She is certified to teach the Orff approach to music education, which encompasses several facets of art into each lesson. So in her classroom, her students have the opportunity to sing, move, play instruments, listen, create and read.

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