Waldorf Elementary Music Teacher Education
Sunbridge’s specialized intensive in Waldorf Elementary Music Teacher Education is for current and prospective Waldorf grades 1-8 music teachers.* This offering is designed to provide Waldorf music teachers with an informed understanding of the Waldorf curriculum and the anthroposophical view of child development, enabling these individuals to be more fully integrated members of their school community and to meet their students through the lens of a Waldorf educator.
*For summer 2021, high school music will also be covered.
Director/Lead Faculty: Jana Hawley, MSEd
Lead Faculty: Jeff Spade, Marshunda Smith
Adjunct Faculty: Monika Sutherland, MMus
2021 Intern: Adam Petersen
This intensive is offered every other year and next takes place July 2023.
Come to our October 13th virtual Open Day to learn more!
In addition to taking subject-specific classes in how teach to music through the grades, instruction in chorus and recorder, and a music teachers seminar, Sunbridge Music students receive a grounding in anthroposophy and Waldorf pedagogy through classes in child development and inner development, reading fundamental texts by Rudolf Steiner, and developing a meditative practice. There are also electives in academic subjects and the arts.
Through your studies, you will gain a Waldorf pedagogical understanding of the child and a knowledge of how that understanding relates to music study, thus gaining an understanding of the relationship between the child and music. This will lead to a deepening of the curriculum for both you as a Waldorf music teacher and the class teachers with whom you work, allowing for a more informed partnership.
Taking classes alongside students from our three-year Elementary Teacher Education program, many of whom are practicing Waldorf teachers, provides you with the benefit of developing colleagueship among fellow Waldorf educators.
“I appreciated Jana’s openness to thinking creatively and realistically about teaching music. Rather than encouraging dogmatic adherence to clear-cut prescriptions as to what is and is not appropriate for a given age, she encouraged us to imagine the mood or feeling of a certain age and to look within our music – and ourselves – for that mood.”
“I feel much more empowered to begin teaching in the fall. Thank you for all the amazing work!“
~ Sunbridge Elementary Music Teacher Education students
Combine with Elementary Program
Sunbridge Music students may elect to combine their specialized intensive studies with matriculation in our Elementary Teacher Education program and receive a full teacher education diploma with concentration in music teaching. Matriculation in our Elementary program entails meeting certain admission requirements such as completion of 60 credits at an accredited college or university, and paying full program tuition. If you would like to learn more about this option, please contact our admissions office at [email protected] / 845-425-0055 x20.
Jana Hawley (director/lead faculty) has directed Sunbridge’s Music Intensive since its inception in 2014. Jana began teaching in Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education Program in 2002 and has been that program’s director since 2009; she also oversees Sunbridge’s World Language Teacher Education Intensive. Since 2006, she has also been on the faculty of Green Meadow Waldorf School where she has been a class teacher, music teacher, and a member of the teacher development committee. Previously, she spent 14 years on the faculty of the Whidbey Island Waldorf School, teaching music and main lessons. A master adult education teacher, Jana has been a visiting faculty member at several Waldorf teacher training institutes in the US as well as abroad, including China and Australia. She has led workshops in movement, singing, and composition, and is a contributor to The Mood of the Fifth: A Musical Approach to Early Childhood, a WECAN publication. Jana earned her BFA in music from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA, and her MSEd in Waldorf elementary teacher education from Sunbridge College.
Jeff Spade (lead faculty) is a member of the music and drama faculty at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City. Jeff has been teaching music in Waldorf schools for over three decades; prior to joining RSS, he was music director at Chicago Waldorf School and Kimberton Waldorf School. He has also worked as a guest teacher, mentor, and consultant with the Baltimore Waldorf School, Berkshire Waldorf High School, Brooklyn Waldorf School, Cincinnati Waldorf School, Green Meadow Waldorf School, Monadnock Waldorf School, New Amsterdam School, The Waldorf School of Garden City, The Waldorf School of Philadelphia, and Washington Waldorf School. In addition to working in the classroom and conducting choirs and ensembles, Jeff is a composer (“Eureka! The Life and Times of Archimedes: A Musical Play in One Act” for grades 5-12) and a teacher of teachers, having led music classes at several Waldorf teacher training programs.
Marshunda Smith (lead faculty) is an instrumental music teacher at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm and co-founder and conductor of the No-Name Orchestra of Boston, which grants musicians a chance to play a concerto or other solo work with a full orchestra. Marshunda, who holds a private music studio of violin, viola, and cello students in the North Shore (Boston) area, made history in 2018 by becoming the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra’s second female conductor in 20 years and the first African-American conductor in its 70-year history. Descriptions of her many past, current, and upcoming “Marshunda Project” activities—making, conducting, and premiering music—can be found on her website. A graduate herself of Sunbridge’s Elementary Music Teacher Education intensive, Marshunda earned her BA at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and her master’s degree in orchestral conducting with a concentration in music education from the University of Southern Maine.
Monika Sutherland (adjunct faculty) has been teaching music for 25 years and currently serves as the director of teacher development and a member of the core faculty at the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute; she also provides consultation and mentorship for a number of Waldorf schools. Monika began her journey as a Waldorf music teacher in 1999. Beginning in 2005, she created the music program at Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School where she directed orchestra and chorus and taught general music and strings. Earlier in her Waldorf teaching career, she taught strings, orchestra, and handwork at Four Winds Waldorf School. Monika has served as a faculty chair and a college chair, been a visiting faculty member at the Rudolf Steiner Centre, and has led workshops at conferences in the US and Canada. A conservatory trained cellist, Monika received her Bachelor of Music from Indiana University and her Master of Music from Northwestern University, both in cello performance.
Adam Petersen (2021 intern) is lead music teacher at Cincinnati Waldorf School’s lower school and high school, where he has been on the faculty since 2012 and serves as Student Council advisor and member of the Festivals and Graduation Committees. Adam earned his BM in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 2011, his Level 1 Orff-Schulwerk certification in 2015, his Elementary Music Teacher Education certificate from Sunbridge in 2016 and his diploma from Sunbridge’s Elementary Teacher Education program in 2020.
Please see our faculty page for bios of our elementary program faculty under whom our music students also study.
This intensive is comprised of a three-week on-campus summer study, plus a one-week observation of an experienced Waldorf music teacher.
The next intensive takes place July 2023.
The required one-week observation of an experienced Waldorf music teacher will be arranged to take place at a mutually-convenient time and setting during the academic year following your summer intensive and must be completed by that June.
103C Child Development and Learning A fundamental course that provides a background for Waldorf Education. 22.5 hours
110C Inner Development A study of the anthroposophical path of inner development as related to the life of the teacher. 12.5 hours
137 Eurythmy 15 hours
138 Chorus and Recorder 15 hours
140 Observation Observe an experienced Waldorf music teacher for five full days in the following school year. 32.5 hours
152 Teaching Music A-G How to teach music in accordance with principles of Waldorf pedagogy. 52.5 hours
- The anthroposophical basis for learning music and why learning and acquiring musical skills supports healthy child development
- Creating a comprehensive music program grades 1-8
- Selecting repertoire: a core component of the music curriculum
- Working with vocal and instrumental ensembles in the upper grades: best practices, goals, strings programs, woodwinds/recorders, other instrumental options and chorus
- Addressing the challenges music teachers face in the classroom, including time management, classroom management, curriculum development, and lesson planning
- Developing a relationship to an ongoing practice of self-development and meditative work in support of teaching
Our Waldorf Elementary Music Teacher Education intensive is designed for practicing Waldorf teachers who are experienced musicians or experienced musicians who wish to become Waldorf music teachers. Applicants must be proficient musicians (either instrumentalists or vocalists), be able to read music, and possess an understanding of music theory. A high school diploma is required for admission; a bachelor’s degree is not required.
- Complete an application form (available here October 1, 2022 for the summer 2023 cohort).
- A completed application includes:
- Application form
- Non-refundable $50 application fee
- Current resumé
- Personal statement
- A letter of recommendation, accompanied by your signed letter of recommendation form and sent from your recommender directly to the Sunbridge Institute Admissions Office
- If applicable, a transcript indicating the highest level of college credits/degree earned; otherwise, your high school diploma/transcript
- Unless submitted with the online application, application materials may be:
- Mailed to the Sunbridge Admissions Office
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
- Emailed to the admissions office at [email protected]
- Mailed to the Sunbridge Admissions Office
Once your application is complete, it will be forwarded to the program director or lead faculty member who will contact you to arrange a phone interview. Admissions decisions are sent out soon thereafter, on a rolling basis.
All applicants whose first language is not English or who have taken their prior education in a non-English-speaking college or university must demonstrate oral and written proficiency in English during the admissions process (through a hand written personal statement and phone conversation). Taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) may be required.
Contact our admissions office at [email protected] / 845-425-0055 x20.
In all of its dealings, including its admissions, educational, and employment practices, it is the policy of Sunbridge Institute, its Trustees, officers, employees and other duly authorized agents not to discriminate against any individual or group for reasons of race, color, creed, gender, age, culture, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation or identification, or mental or physical disability.
Sunbridge Institute reserves the right to cancel or change any offering at any time and to make faculty or course substitutions when necessary.