Successfully Incorporating Folk Dancing in the Conversational Solfege Classroom

Lindsay Jackson and Missy Strong
Sunday, July 17th: 9:45 am – 10:45 am
Phillips Music Center Recital Hall

Are you excited about having folk dance in the “doing” portion of your general music lessons, but unsure of how to start? Or are you already incorporating some dance, but struggling with how to choose the best dances and sequence their instruction? Perhaps the classroom management component of folk dancing is daunting to you. In this session you will learn about choosing age-appropriate dances (including a few that that fit into the Conversational Solfège unit framework) and ideas for breaking down some of the more challenging steps. You will be given tried and true tips for calling a dance as well as ideas to help you proactively encourage respect between and amongst your students. Lastly, you will hear how folk dancing can help you reach beyond the classroom to bring your community together!

Participants will be introduced to the process of choosing age- and developmentally-appropriate folk dances for elementary students and will be given strategies for introducing and calling these dances. A rationale for including folk dance in the elementary general curriculum, along with examples of dances that fit into the Conversational Solfège Unit framework will be highlighted. Participants will also leave with ideas for dealing with classroom management issues, as well as ideas for how folk dance can help them reach the broader community.


Lindsay_JacksonLindsay Jackson is in her 10th year of teaching elementary music and choir and currently teaches at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA. She holds a B.M.Ed from Westminster Choir College (2005) and an M.M.Ed from the Hartt School, University of Hartford (2012).

While at Hartt, Lindsay served as the graduate assistant for Dr. John Feierabend where she assisted in teaching his undergraduate methods classes. She is fully certified in Kodály (Levels 1-4) and FAME (First Steps and Conversational Solfège). Lindsay is a founding member of the Feierabend Association of Music Education.

Missy Headshot 1Dr. Missy Strong has served as an elementary general and choral specialist since 1995. She is a founding member of FAME and is in her 2nd term as the Vice-President of the organization. In 2003, she earned her Master’s in Music Education from Rowan, and in 2012, a Doctorate in Music Ed with an emphasis in early childhood development from Rutgers. Missy also serves as the Music Education Writer and Consultant for the Rafiki Foundation, a group serving widows, children, and college-aged students in over 10 African countries. She worked as the Senior Research Assistant at the Center for Music and the Young Child, the research/development branch of Music Together, and was also the Director of Children’s Music Education at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia for 10 years, overseeing all aspects of Schola Cantorum, a music school for grades 1-6. Missy is a published author and has written curriculum for the Philadelphia Orchestra School Concert program. She frequently mentors young teachers and consults with established teachers, churches and schools looking to implement or improve music programs. Missy is a frequent clinician and has presented workshops at the state and national level. She and her husband Jeremy (a composer, pianist, and organist) live in New Jersey with their 4 children.