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Summer community sing
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Diane Geller

 Professional Development for Music Educators 

Upcoming workshops 2023-2024

Workshop #1: Teaching Music to Students with Differences and Disabilities



Date: Saturday, September 23rd, 2023 

Registration:  9:00 a.m.-9:25 a.m.

Workshop:  9:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.


Online on Zoom or In Person

Location: Azusa Pacific University

Warren Music Center, Room 122 

901 E Alosta Ave, Azusa, CA 91702


This workshop will focus on ways we can meaningfully include students who learn differently in our music classrooms and ensembles. We will focus on cognition, communication, and socialization needs as we explore ideas for creating experiences that allow all students to achieve meaningful and achievable objectives each day. This active day will include active experiences to illustrate concepts and time to answer your specific questions. 

About the Clinician:

Dr. Alice Hammel, Virginia Music Educator Association Outstanding Educator (2018) and current President of the Virginia Music Educators Association, is a widely known music educator, author, and clinician whose experience in music is extraordinarily diverse. She is a member of the faculty of James Madison University, and has many years of experience teaching instrumental and choral music in public and private schools. Dr. Hammel has put these varied experiences to great use while compiling a large body of scholarly work. She is a co-author for four texts: Teaching Music to Students with Differences and Disabilities: A Label-free Approach, Teaching Music to Students with Autism, Winding It Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings, and Teaching Music to Students with Differences and Disabilities: A Practical Resource. Dr. Hammel is Past-President of the Council for Exceptional Children –Division for Visual and Performing Arts Education and was recently awarded their Past President Award for Excellence.

Clinician: Dr. Alice M. Hammel

Workshop #2: Transform Your Teaching Using Best Practices


Shelly Suminski Mahpar


Kelly Adams

Classroom Music

Arie Lugo



Date: Saturday, November 4th, 2023 

Bonus Workshop! Register and Attend for FREE!

Registration:  9:00 a.m.-9:25 a.m. 

Workshop:  9:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Online on Zoom or In Person

Location: One Life City Church

601 E. Valencia Dr. Fullerton, CA 92832


Would you like answers to challenges that seem to come up during the school year? Our expert presenters have over 65 years of combined experience. With expertise in classroom music, instrumental, and choral, they can guide you with best practice strategies that provide solutions. Our clinicians have made the Kodàly Approach a foundation of their curriculum. The Kodály Approach emphasizes active, joyful music making leading to discovery learning. Participants will learn successful techniques and activities shown to engage primary, secondary, and instrumental students. Join us to experience demonstrations of quality music literature, successful teaching strategies, and the acquisition of music literacy at several levels. A question and answer section will be a portion of this workshop.

About the Clinicians:

Kelly Adams:

Kelly Adams is a twice-over graduate of the University of Southern California where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in music industry and a Master of Arts degree in music education. In 2013, she attended the Kodály Association of Southern California (KASC) Summer Institute where she fell in love with Kodály’s revolutionary methods and ideology, eventually receiving her certification under Dr. Kathy Hickey and Dr. Niké St. Clair in 2016. Now Kelly serves as Past President on the KASC board, and currently teaches Level I Pedagogy during KASC’s Summer Institute at Azusa Pacific University. She continues to build Kodály-based curricula for the National Children’s Chorus as its Principal Associate Conductor and recently conducted students from schools across Los Angeles in the 2023 KASC Honor Chorus Festival. When she’s not teaching or conducting, Kelly performs, writes and records with the band Karmina (search Queens of Heart to hear Karmina’s latest album) and sings in feature films (How to Train Your Dragon, Wonder, Pan, The Lorax). Kelly is thrilled to conduct her daughter Rudi in Minuet at the National Children’s Chorus.

Shelly Suminski Mahpar:

Devoted to music education, Shelly Suminski Mahpar is on the brass faculty at The Colburn’s Community School of Performing Arts, Victor Valley College and teaches Level 2 Pedagogy at California State University Bakersfield’s Kodály Certification Program. She previously taught general music and orchestra for 11 years. Shelly has been involved with non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area since 2005. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Organization of American Kodály Educators as the Western Division President. Shelly is a Past President of the Kodály Association of Southern California. She served as the 2023 Co-Chair for the International Kodály Symposium in Los Angeles.
Ms. Suminski Mahpar received a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance from the University of Southern California. As an active freelance musician in Southern California, Ms. Suminski Mahpar has performed with many local orchestras and musical theatre companies as well as in major venues across the United States, Middle East and Asia. In 2019 she performed the world premier of Meditation and Decision for solo trombone and piano at the International Trombone Festival (ITF) in Muncie, IN. Shelly returned to ITF in 2022 performing as a founding member of the all-women Empress Trombone Quartet.

Arie Lugo:

Arie Lugo directs the K-8 Music Program with Heninger Elementary School at Santa Ana Unified School District. She additionally has experience teaching all grade levels Pre-K to 12th Gr. at a variety of settings in Southern California (Cerro Villa Middle School, Orange County School of the Arts, National Children's Chorus, California Childrens' Chorus). Her unique background also includes managing and supporting youth non-profit programs (CSArts Academy, Dragon Kim Music Program, Dragon Kim Fellowship Program, Think Together Arts Accelerator). She is a proud member of the KASC Board and enjoys learning more about the power of being culturally responsive through folk songs. Her BA in Music Education and Vocal Performance was earned at Azusa Pacific University, and her Credentials were completed at Cal State University, Fullerton. Arie will be the conductor for the KASC Elementary Choral Festival in the spring of 2024.

Workshop #3: Building Your Music Program: From Vision to Implementation


Date: Saturday, February 10th, 2024 

Registration:  9:00 a.m.-9:25 a.m.

Workshop:  9:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.


Online on Zoom or In Person

Location:  St. Paul’s 1st Lutheran Church

5244 Tujunga Ave, North Hollywood CA, 91601


In this session, we will explore three major phases that should be considered with building a music program from the ground up. The Vision: the musical and non-musical goals such as course offerings, sequencing, curriculum and youth development; The Resources: grants, contributions, connections, partnerships and supports; Buy-In Tips and Tricks: ways to help engage and create buy-in from the community, administration and students.


About the Clinician:

Claudio Alcantar is an active freelance musician and educator in Southern California. He teaches band and orchestra at Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy, an LAUSD school in the South Central-Crenshaw community. Currently, he is a Teaching Artist and Conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s signature 'El Sistema' program, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), and is heavily involved with their curriculum development and implementation. Mr. Alcantar is currently finishing up his Firebird Fellowship with Academy for Impact Through Music, an innovative approach bringing 40 music educators from around the world to tackle social inequality through music education. Alcantar is devoted to working with underserved communities and strives to bring quality music education to communities in need. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Winds Performance/Music Education and a Master of Music in Conducting from California State University, Northridge. Mr. Alcantar is currently the Vice President of the Los Angeles Secondary Music Teachers Association and the Treasurer for the California Music Educator Association Southwestern Section. He is also a proud member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor’s Society, National Association for Music Education, California Band Director Association, California Orchestra Directors Association, and Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association.

Clinician: Claudio Alcantar

Workshop #4:  Inspiring Students to Create in the Music Classroom:  

Inquiry, Standards, and Active Music Making

Date: Saturday, April 6th, 2024 

Registration:  9:00 a.m.-9:25 a.m.

Workshop:  9:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Bonus:  12:30-1:00 Kidspeak Standards - Juanda Marshall

Virtual Presentations on Zoom


How can we encourage more student-centered learning in the music classroom while meeting standards and inspiring lifelong learning? Learn to use an inquiry-driven approach to meet (and exceed) standards - that keeps active music making at the center of student learning.  In this workshop, participants will experience a create-focused inquiry lesson that can be applied or modified for use across grade levels in music classrooms.  Leave with ideas for immediate classroom implementation as well as an understanding of how to create your own inquiry-based lessons in the music classroom that keep students actively engaged in “music-ing.”  This workshop will use standards as a springboard and draw on inquiry, backward design, and concept-based tools and strategies for intentional curriculum design.


About the Clinician:

Nyssa Brown is an international arts education consultant with Music Ed Forward who works with arts educators around the globe to build student-centered, concept-driven, inquiry-based music curriculum. With 25 years of teaching experience with both students and adults, Nyssa empowers learners of all ages to build on their current knowledge and envision new possibilities. 
Nyssa has 18 years of experience in elementary and secondary music classrooms, as well as teaching and leadership experience at the team, school, district, state, national and international levels.  Ms. Brown served on the writing committee for the National Core Arts Standards and is an Erickson and Lanning Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Certified Trainer. She was one of ten finalists for 2004 Minnesota Teacher of the Year and received a prestigious Milken Educator Award in 2004 from the Milken Family Foundation.
Passionate about teaching in a global context, Nyssa taught at American School of the Hague and the International School of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, The American Embassy School in New Delhi, India and in both Namibia and South Africa, through a fellowship offered by the Eastman School of Music's Umculo: The Kimberley Project. Nyssa is a faculty member of the Kodály Levels Courses at Indiana University and the University of St. Thomas. With a focus on strong relationships and collaborative processes, she aims to help transform students, teachers and communities through music education.

Clinician: Nyssa Brown

Workshop Prices

OAKE (KASC) Members: $30 (members receive coupon code for $10 off)

Non-members: $40

4 Workshop Package Deal- Get access to 4 workshops for a discounted price (for current members only): $60

Full-Time College Students and Administrators: FREE

FREE Full-time students:
If you are a full-time student and want to attend our workshops for free, then become a FREE member of OAKE with KASC as your chapter! Be sure to select "full-time student" as your membership type. 

(Current student members will receive a coupon code for free admission via email 2 weeks before each workshop. If you become a full-time student and haven't received the coupon code, email us at and we will provide it!)

District Workshop PAckage

We are excited to announce we are now offering a special "District Workshop Package" deal where a school district can pay a total of $750, which will allow up to 10 participants to attend each of our workshops through the year. If your district is interested in a package deal, please contact us for more information at

Man Playing Drum
Join Us!

Join us all year long for one of our engaging professional development workshops throughout the school year. KASC brings in quality clinicians from all over the world to provide inspiration to music educators in the Southern California region.

OAKE’s Commitment to Equity

The members of OAKE are committed to championing diversity, welcoming all people, and advancing inclusivity and equity for all. Inspired by Zoltán Kodály’s unyielding assertion that music belongs to everyone, we affirm that music is a fundamental aspect of shared human experiences. As such, we pledge to promote active music making merged with intentionally respectful practices as the basis of comprehensive music education.

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