Mara Culp

Assistant Professor of Music Teaching and Learning




Mara E. Culp earned a PhD and Master’s in Music Education from Penn State and a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Siena Heights University. Over the course of her career, she has taught general, choral, and instrumental music and worked with P-12 students. She has also completed Kodály Level I, Orff Level I, and Music Together® Teacher Training. During the 2016-2017 academic year, she served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education, Vocal General at Ithaca College.

She teaches undergraduate (Elementary General Music Methods, Elementary and Middle School Choral Methods, Classroom Instruments) and graduate coursework (History and Philosophy of Music Education Seminar, Curriculum Seminar). She has also taught courses pertaining to teaching music to students with special needs at Penn State and Ithaca College. She advises Eastman’s C-NAfME chapter, and serves as VP Convention Programming for the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA) 2020 Biennial International Convention, as Membership Committee Co-Chair (West) for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)’s Division on Visual and Performing Arts (DARTS), and on the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Research Committee.

Her scholarly and research interests include improving speech and language using music, music education for exceptional students, interprofessional collaboration, elementary general music education, and choral music. She was named a finalist for the 2015 Outstanding Emerging Researcher Award by the Center for Music Education Research. Her dissertation was comprised of three studies examining the relationship between music aptitude and phonological awareness in elementary children. Her work has been published in The Orff Echo, General Music Today, Choral Journal, Journal of Research in Music Education, School Music News (NYSSMA), on NAfME’s Music in a Minuet blog, and accepted to Music Educators Journal. Her reviews have been published by Kodály Envoy and Journal of Historical Research in Music Education (online), and accepted to Music Education Research.

She is also an active presenter and speaker, frequently working as a part of interdisciplinary teams. She has presented her original work to audiences in and outside music education, both domestically and internationally. Notable conferences include the International Society for Music Education (ISME) Biennial World Conference; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) National Convention; Society for Music Teacher Education Biennial Symposium; Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA) Biennial International Convention; Interdisciplinary Society for Quantitative Research in Music and Medicine Biennial International Conference; VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference; and ABLE Assembly: Arts Better the Lives of Everyone. Her work has also been shared on her behalf at the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) National Conference and Instrumental Music Teacher Educators (IMTE) Biennial Colloquium for Instrumental Music Teacher Educators. She is frequently invited to speak on inclusive and/or interdisciplinary topics and has acted as an invited speaker/presenter for classes in the Communication Sciences and Disorders.