Friday, November 19, 9:00-9:50 AM

Erin Gaffaney

Stillwater Middle School

Erin Gaffaney currently teaches choir at Stillwater Middle School, where she works with students in grades 4-8. Prior to joining the Stillwater vocal music staff, Erin spent five years teaching general music and choir in Moorhead at both the elementary and middle school level. Erin also taught in rural Perham, Minnesota.

Erin holds a bachelor of arts degree in music from Carthage College, a bachelor of science degree in vocal music education from St. Cloud State University, a master of music education degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has completed two levels of Orff training. Erin has had the privilege of learning from several transformative music educators, including Lee Nelson, Bridget Sweet, Donna Gallo, Janet R. Barrett, Adam Kruse, Jeananne Nichols, and the Orff instructors at North Dakota State University. With much gratitude, Erin’s teaching practice is daily influenced by the learning from those masterful instructors.

Erin’s professional interests focus on inclusion in the choral music classroom, culturally relevant pedagogy, and empowering middle school students’ voices and creativity.

Erin resides in Brooklyn Center with her husband, Joseph Osowski (another choral music educator), and their three cats. They will never have nice furniture again.

Inspiring Creativity in Young Singers

Target Audience:  Middle/Junior High

Pandemic or no pandemic, we’re always going to have students who, for whatever reason, don’t want to be in our ensembles. Rather than see these students as non-contributing members in our choirs, why not consider the ways in which we might make choir an environment in which these students might see their own musical interests and creativity become a valuable asset to the whole group?

Amy Jo Cherner

Eagan High School