Great Expectations: Believing, Conveying and Empowering

Great Expectations: Believing, Conveying and Empowering
Sandra Doneski, Sara Carson and Irene Idicheria
Sunday, July 27th  – 9:45 – 10:45 AM  – Session  II:

All students have the capacity to be engaged, independent artistic makers of music. Creating classroom and rehearsal expectations that encourage these high goals is a challenging and worthwhile endeavor.  Participants will explore instructional and curriculum strategies related from urban and suburban settings that engage and connect students with their potential for artistic music making.


Sandra DoneskiSandra Doneski has been a teacher of music to students in Kindergarten through graduate school. She is Associate Professor of Music at Gordon College and Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Music Education. She teaches courses in music education methods, learning theory, assessment, curriculum development; supervises student teachers; and conducts the Gordon College Children’s Choir.

In 2009, Dr. Doneski was the recipient of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Lowell Mason Award and the Society for General Music in Massachusetts Excellence in General Music Award. In 2012, she was awarded the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award and in 2013 she received the Administrators in Music Education Visionary Leadership Award.

Dr. Doneski has published articles and conducted workshops on choral literature and techniques, curriculum development, assessment and mentoring. She recently co-authored a chapter in the MENC Handbook: Research on Teaching and Learning in Music Education titled Research on Elementary and Secondary School Singing.

She is a graduate of Gordon College and received her Master’s and Ph.D. in Music Education from The Hartt School, University of Hartford.  She is a Conversational Solfege Level 1 Teacher trainer and current President of FAME.

Sara G. CarsonSara Gassert Carson teaches middle school and high school general music and chorus in the Waltham Public Schools. In addition, Sara serves as the Associate Conductor of the Gordon College Children’s Choir. In 2012, Sara presented Great Expectations: High Standards in Choral Urban Education and Great Expectations:  High Standards in the General Music Urban Education at the Massachusetts Music Educators Conference with Dr. Sandra Doneski and Irene Idicheria.  In 2013, the latter session was offered at the All-Eastern Conference in Hartford.  During the 2010-2011 school year, Sara worked as a Teaching Fellow for the Boston Children’s Chorus. In 2010, Sara received the Promising Music Educators’ Award from the Massachusetts Music Educator’s Association.

Sara is currently in her second summer of the Master’s program at Gordon College.  While at Gordon, Sara has had the privilege of studying with Dr. Sandra Doneski, Dr. Kenneth H. Phillips, and Dr. Chris Azzara.

Irene IdicheriaIrene Idicheria‘s extensive experience in working with young, unchanged voices has been showcased through sessions at professional conferences, in her role as an instructor for the Boston Conservatory’s graduate music education program, and as a guest lecturer for the undergraduate music education program at Gordon College. She also recently served as the managing chair for the first Massachusetts All-State Treble Chorus.Idicheria is in her fifth season as conductor of the Boston Children’s Chorus’ West End House and Central Training choirs. Idicheria also serves as the General Music and Chorus Instructor for the Guilmette Elementary School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where she is implementing a comprehensive music curriculum that she designed and developed. In her first year of teaching, Idicheria was nominated for the Lawrence Public Schools’ Rising Star Teacher of the Year award. She is a 2013 & 2014 recipient of the Sontag Award in Urban Education.

Born and raised in India, Idicheria moved to the United States to earn a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Gordon College. Idicheria holds a Master of Music Education from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she also completed her Kodály certification.