Missy Strong has been joyfully teaching general, choral, and instrumental music to students Pre-K to 8th grade since 1995. She currently serves as an Elementary General and Vocal Specialist in the Mt. Laurel, NJ public schools, where she has taught since 1999. Missy is also Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University and is the Music Education Curriculum Writer and Consultant for the Rafiki Foundation, an organization with schools serving students in 10 different African countries.
For over a decade Missy was the Children’s Music Education Director at Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, where she oversaw the program and faculty for Schola Cantorum, the church’s music program for 100+ students in preschool through 6th grade.
After earning her Masters Degree in 2003, Missy went on to earn her Doctorate in Music Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Development and Elementary General Music from Rutgers University in New Brunswick in 2012, during which time she also worked as the Senior Research Assistant for Music Together, LLC. She is a certified Music Together teacher and holds the Level 1 Elementary General Certification from the Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML).
In addition to the work she does with the young students in her classroom and her outside parent/infant and toddler music classes, Missy’s major interests center on musical development in early childhood and neuroscience as it relates to children’s music processing and development. She is also dedicated to finding ways to help parents who identify as “non-musical” feel more comfortable making music with their young children. Her major teachers have included John Feierabend, William Berz, David Elliott, Lili Levinowitz, Allison Reynolds, and Marissa Silverman.
In 2012, Missy was invited to be one of the Founding Members of FAME for which she is currently President-Elect after having served 2 terms as the Vice President. She is Endorsed in both First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege Levels 1 & 2 and leads certification courses in the US as well as internationally. Missy oversees the FAME Twitter account as well as FAME’s many regional Facebook pages and is the administrator of Feierabend Fundamentals, FAME’s Facebook page with a current membership of almost 9,000 members.
In early 2019 Missy will begin hosting the FAME podcast called “The Tuneful, Beatful, Artful Music Teacher” which will feature Dr. Feierabend, the FAME Endorsed Teacher Trainers, and other music educators from around the globe.
Missy has presented at the district, state, national, international, and college levels, and frequently mentors young teachers. She consults with teachers, schools, and churches looking to implement general and choral music programs for children. Her presentation topics range from neuroscience in music education, to movement with young children, to classroom management, folk dancing, and of course, helping teachers implement John Feierabend’s work into their own music programs.
Along with Dr. Feierabend, Missy was co-editor and one of the co-authors of Feierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosophy, and Practice (GIA Publications, 2018). She has recorded webinars for NAfME and NJMEA, written articles for music education journals, and done editing work for major publishers. She is currently working on a chapter on Dr. Feierabend’s work for a book from Oxford University Press for publication in the near future.
Missy and her husband, Jeremy (a composer, pianist, and church organist), enjoy making music together with their four children, Ethan, Owen, Lorelei, and Jackson in Southern New Jersey.