Workshop Faculty and Staff Bios

Lisa Beyer (Associate Director of SMU Music Educators Workshops) teaches K-5 elementary music in the Plano Independent School District. Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University in 2013, and graduated from SMU with a master’s degree in May 2019. Lisa completed her Orff and Kodály certifications at SMU in 2016 and has helped with the SMU Summer Workshops since 2013, first as a student worker and now as Associate Director.

Janell Bjorklund (Kodály) teaches general music for students in grades K-5 and adaptive general music (ages 3-21) for Evanston-Skokie School District 65 in Evanston, Illinois. She holds degrees in music education from DePaul University and the University of North Texas. Bjorklund is certified in the Kodály approach through the Plano ISD at SMU training program and is certified in the Orff Schulwerk approach through DePaul University. Bjorklund presented her research on "The Use of Soprano Recorder in Kodaly-inspired Classrooms" for poster sessions at the Illinois Music Education Association Annual Statewide Conference and the Organization of American Kodály Educators National Conference in 2015. She has presented professional development sessions on facilitating social justice conversations in the Kodaly-inspired classroom at both ILMEC and OAKE conferences. Bjorklund teaches in the Kodály training programs at DePaul University and SMU.  

Michael Chandler, Ph.D. (Orff Schulwerk) is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Michael taught music and movement to children in Texas public schools for 16 years, mostly in Lewisville ISD, where he was named Teacher of the Year at two elementary schools. His student ensembles have performed by invitation at TMEA conventions in San Antonio in 2013, 2007, and 2005. Michael has served as president of the North Texas Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) and as a Regional Representative on the AOSA National Board of Trustees; chaired the AOSA Research Interest Group, the AOSA History Committee, and the AOSA Apprentice Application Review Panel; and has served on AOSA’s International Outreach Committee. Michael has presented workshops and sessions in 38 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Australia. In addition to teaching Orff levels at SMU, he teaches in the Orff certification program at the University of Memphis and in the San Francisco International Orff Course. Michael earned a Ph.D. in music education from the University of North Texas.

Paul Cribari, D.M.A. (Orff Schulwerk) is an Orff Schulwerk teacher in the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. There, he is the Coordinator for Performing Arts, K-12. Paul received his M.A. with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk from the University of St. Thomas, and his doctorate in music education from Boston University. In addition to his work with children Paul teaches levels I, II, and III of Orff Schulwerk at SMU, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the San Francisco International Orff Schulwerk Course. Paul is a regular clinician for local chapters of AOSA and has presented sessions at state and local conferences, as well as numerous national conferences of AOSA. Internationally, he has taught in Italy and Hong Kong. Recent publications include THE ELEMENTAL STYLE: A Handbook for Composers and Arrangers, Part 1.

Gay deMontel is currently teaching pre-K through 8th grade music at St. James Episcopal School in Corpus Christi, Texas. Previously, Gay held teaching positions in Port Aransas, Kerrville and Plano ISDs, where she was a director of the Plano Children’s Chorale. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University and completed her Kodály certification in the Round Top Program at Festival Hill.  Gay is a member of TMEA and OAKE and has served on the board of Kodály Educators of Texas. She has taught Kodály training courses through Plano ISD, University of North Texas and Westminster Choir College, and has presented numerous workshops involving repertoire and pedagogy, beginning dulcimer, folk dancing, and play parties. 

Jason Dove (Kodály) is currently teaching at Deer Park High School where he is in his 23rd year of teaching choral music. He received his B.M.E. from the University of Louisville and his M.M. from Southern Methodist University. He has presented at OAKE and TMEA on ways to incorporate a Kodály approach in the secondary choral classroom. Choirs under his direction have received numerous sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contests. In addition, his choirs have performed for the TMEA Convention (2012) and the ACDA National Conference (2013). He served as the High School Vocal Division Vice President of the Texas Choral Directors Association from 2017 to 2019.   

Kathy Kuddes (Kodály) is Director of Fine Arts for Plano ISD and the Founder/Coordinator of the Plano Kodály Teacher Training Program. She holds degrees in music education from Millikin University in Illinois and the University of North Texas; a Kodály Teacher Training Certificate from the UT/FAME Program at Festival Hill in Round Top; and Texas Supervisor and English as a Second Language Certification. Kathy has taught students from pre-K through the college graduate level, oversees fine arts programming including music, visual art and theatre, supervised the last three revisions of the Plano ISD Music Curriculum, and was a member of the writing team for the latest revision of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Music Grades 3-5. Kathy has presented workshops and conference sessions around the United States and beyond, including the International Kodály Society Symposia in Hungary in 2013 and Australia in 2003. She is a former member of the board of the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE), the Kodály Educators of Texas (KET), and the Texas Music Administrators Conference (TMAC). Kathy was the recipient of the 2010 OAKE Outstanding Administrator Award and the 2013 Alumni Merit-Loyalty Award from Millikin University and was named the TMAC Outstanding Music Administrator for 2016-17. 

Richard Layton, Ph.D. (Orff Schulwerk) is the Upper School Performing Arts Chair at The Key School in Annapolis, MD.  In addition to the SMU course and his work with grades 8-12 students at Key, Rick has been on the faculty at the University of Maryland teaching music theory since 1992.  For the past three decades, Rick has been an active clinician and presenter for MENC state conferences and for the American Orff Schulwerk Association's chapter workshops and yearly National Conferences. Rick’s international teaching includes Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Dubai, and twice at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. Recent publications include THE ELEMENTAL STYLE: A Handbook for Composers and Arrangers, Part 1.

Georgia A. Newlin, D.M.A. is an independent Music Education Consultant. She has taught in early childhood and public school music positions for 16 years and at the collegiate level for 15. Currently, Georgia serves as conductor for choral festivals, as a clinician for choral workshops, reading sessions, and intermediate grade methodology, and as a consultant for curriculum planning. She teaches musicianship, conducting, and ensemble in Kodály programs at Indiana University, University of Hawai’i, and James Madison University. Georgia is Past President of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and is a member of The VoiceCare Network. She has presented at conferences of OAKE, International Kodály Society, AOSA, and for Kodály Music Educators Associations in Australia and Canada. In addition, Georgia has presented for the Association for Music in International Schools and to choral and music education associations in 18 U.S. states. She has published articles in the Choral Journal, Orff Echo, Kodály Envoy, and Southwestern Musician. Georgia served for three years on the Music Educators Journal Advisory Committee of the National Association for Music Education.

Jacque Schrader (Orff Schulwerk) has experience teaching music and movement to children grades 1-7 at the Key School in Annapolis, MD. In addition to teaching Level II at SMU, Jacque was the movement instructor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, for 27 years. She spent a semester studying at the Orff Institute, where she was later invited to be a guest lecturer. Jacque has presented internationally in Dubai, Taiwan, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, and China. She is an active clinician, having led workshops at a dozen AOSA Conferences, TMEA, and local workshops in 35 states. In 2012, Jacque co-led the Teacher Education Master class for movement teachers at the AOSA Professional Development Conference. In 2016, Jacque’s students were the featured performing group at the AOSA Professional Development Conference in Atlantic City. She served on the AOSA Board of Trustees as regional representative for five years. She has chaired the AOSA Apprentice Application Review Panel and is currently serving on the Movement Teacher Educator Apprentice Panel.  

Julie Scott (Director of SMU Music Educators Workshops) is Professor of Practice in Music Education at Southern Methodist University. She completed a Ph.D. in music education at the Eastman School of Music in 2010, where she was Assistant Professor of Music for one year. Prior to teaching at the college level, Julie taught elementary music in Texas schools for 17 years and served as Coordinator of Elementary Music in Richardson ISD for two years. She has taught Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education Courses to adults at six universities: SMU, University of North Texas, University of St. Thomas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Central Arkansas, Trinity University, and George Mason University. She has presented over 200 workshops for TMEA, AOSA, OAKE, NAfME, and to numerous state MEAs, school districts and Orff chapters throughout the U.S. Julie has served as a conductor/clinician for over 20 honor choirs at the school district and state levels. She has presented sessions internationally at conferences and teaching venues in Australia, Germany, Scotland, Greece, China, Italy, and Thailand. Julie is a past president of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. 

Corey Fisher Smith has been teaching music for seven years in Plano ISD. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in music education and a minor in Italian. She spent five years working as the Children’s Music Director at Grace Presbyterian Church in Plano. Piano is her primary instrument, and she enjoys accompanying soloists and choirs, in addition to other freelance piano work. Corey was the Region 24 Elementary Music Chair for TMEA for three years. Her passion for Kodály teaching began when she studied under Joy Nelson at the University of Oklahoma and student-taught with Sandy Knudson. She completed her Kodály certification at the SMU/Plano ISD Kodály program.

Meg Tietz (Orff Schulwerk) teaches music and movement to children in kindergarten through 5th grade at Raven Stream Elementary in New Prague, MN. She completed her master’s degree, with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk, at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Meg currently serves as a Region III Representative on the AOSA National Board of Trustees.  She is a frequent presenter for local Orff chapter workshops and the national AOSA conference. Meg teaches Orff Schulwerk Levels at Southern Methodist University, Metro State University in Denver, and the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

Kristin Vogt (Kodály) is the music specialist at Brinker Elementary School in Plano ISD, where she teaches kindergarten through 5th grade students. Kristin received her Bachelor of Music in music theory in 2000, and master’s degrees in music theory and music education from Southern Methodist University in 2003. She earned her Kodály certification from the Plano ISD/UNT program and her Orff Schulwerk certification from SMU. This is her 18th year teaching elementary music. She has presented professional development sessions for school districts in Texas, at the OAKE National Conference in 2010 and 2018, and at the AOSA Professional Development Conference in 2016. Kristin currently serves as Immediate Past President of Kodály Educators of Texas and is an adjunct faculty member at Texas A&M University in Commerce, TX. 

Melissa Roth Young (Kodály) is a graduate of Baylor University (B.M.E. ’93) and UNT (M.M.E. ’02), and she is in her 26th year of teaching. For the past 11 years she has taught and directed the choirs at Richardson North Junior High, which consistently receive sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert & Sight-Reading Contests, as well as Best in Class/Grand Champion distinctions at local choral festivals. Additionally, North choir students are well represented in the All-Region Choir and TCDA Honor Choirs each year. Under her direction in 2010, the Richardson North Junior High Varsity Treble Choir was selected to sing at the OAKE National Convention in Dallas. Melissa was selected as the Richardson ISD Teacher of the Year nominee for the North Junior High campus in the 2011-12 school year. She has served as the TMEA Region III Secretary and Coordinator, as well as on the TCDA Hospitality and Ways and Means Committees. Prior to coming to Richardson North Junior High, Melissa taught at the elementary level and in community children’s choirs in Texas and Oregon. She served as the Children’s Choir R&S Chair for Oregon ACDA from 2002 to 2006 and as Western 2 Regional Representative for the OAKE National Board from 2004 to 2006. She is a clinician and adjudicator for elementary children’s choirs and middle school level repertoire and contests. Melissa received her Kodály certification from Portland State University in 2002 and is a published choral composer with Alliance Music.