Mara E. Culp earned a PhD and a 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 Membership Committee Co-Chair (West) for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)’s Division on Visual and Performing Arts (DARTS), on the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Research Committee, and as Convention Program Chair for the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA) 2021 Biennial International Convention.
Her scholarly and research interests include music and communication, music education for exceptional learners, interprofessional collaboration, intersectionality, 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 Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education General Music Today, Choral Journal, The Orff Echo, School Music News (NYSSMA), and on NAfME’s Music in a Minuet blog. Her reviews have been published in 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; National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Conference; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) National Convention; Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE) Biennial Symposium; Early Childhood Music and Movement Association (ECMMA) Biennial International Convention; Desert Skies Symposium for Research in Music Education; Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium; Interdisciplinary Society for Quantitative Research in Music and Medicine (ISQRMM) Biennial International Conference; VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference; ABLE Assembly: Arts Better the Lives of Everyone; and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Eastern Region Conference. Her work has also been shared on her behalf at the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) National Conference and the 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.