If you are interested in having your local Teacher Center sponsor a session for your teachers, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for information.

Music Workshops with instructor Jen Rafferty, Music Department Chair for the Cortland Enlarged City School District

Workshops can range from 50 minutes to 6 hours and can be combined and adapted to fit the needs of your event. 

  • Adolescents in the Music Classroom
    This interactive workshop focuses on developmentally responsive teaching and best practices for music educators to meet the educational needs of middle school students. They are rapidly and profoundly changing physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually and psychologically. When we understand their needs, we can adjust the way we teach so they get the most out of their time making music.

  • The Circle of Courage ~ Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity in General Music
    Based on a Native American philosophy of child rearing, the Circle of Courage is a remarkable way to think about how we can teach music through these four concepts. Jen has used this paradigm throughout her teaching career with great success. As students works towards achievement in all four areas, they gain confidence to be empowered musicians and their strengths carry over in other aspects of their lives.

  • Student Centered Learning ~ Get off the podium!
    Students learn best when they are actively engaged in their own discovery of knowledge. In a traditional ensemble, directors are leading the group, making most of the musical decisions and corrections. While there is a time for direct instruction, we need to explore ways for students to take ownership of their own music making for a deeper connection and skills for life long learning.

  • General Music ~ The most important class you teach
    ​Middle School General Music is of particular interest as this class is incredibly important to keep students engaged in active music making, resulting in a lifelong support and participation in music.

  • Music and Emotional Literacy ~ Teaching empathy in your ensemble
    In todays "selfie" culture, it is extremely necessary to teach empathy and emotional literacy whenever we can. When we make frequent explicit connections between music making and emotion, students become more self-aware of their own emotions and can begin recognize emotions in others. This can truly begin to change the school culture to one that is more caring and kind.

  • Discover Your Sound ~ A Collaboration
    Jen will work with your music department to facilitate staff with finding your mission and vision, uniting the curriculum reflective of mission and vision, encourage collaboration within the department, help establish policies and protocols to maintain consistency and empower staff to discover their own strengths within the department.

I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.


Center For The Arts of Homer BuildingNYSTC map 2
72 S. Main Street, Homer NY 13077

Cortland County is part of NYS Southern Tier Teacher Center Network.


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