People - Music Education

Music Education Faculty: Ira Shankman

Ira Shankman

Music Educator

Faculty in Music Education and Coordinator of Choral Groups


Ira Shankman joins the NYU faculty after 38 years as an educator and  professional musician. While working for the New York City Department of Education. Professor Shankman distinguished himself as a music teacher (JHS 271, Curtis High School), assistant principal (Seward Park High School, Stevenson High School) and principal (Talent Unlimited High School). He was the founder and director of the NY All-City High School Marching Band and conducted award winning bands, choruses and jazz choirs. He served on the faculties of Wagner, Passaic County Community and Hostos Community Colleges. An arts-in-education advocate, he contributed to the development of the DOE multiculturalcurriculum and the Chancellor’s Curriculum Frameworks.  He was the New York City zone representative to the New York State School Music Association and still plays an active role in the organization by chairing adjudication festivals for over 2000 students, serving on association committees and as a choral and vocal jazz adjudicator.  As a clinician, he conducted workshops on Vocal Jazz Techniques and Integrated Software Usage.  In September of 2001, he was the arts consultant to the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and worked with founder Tony Bennett and the principal to launch the school. He is currently mentoring seven new principals protégées through the auspices of New Visions for Public Education. In addition to his educational career, Ira Shankman founded and directed “Vocal Jazz Inc.”, a professional vocal jazz ensemble. He worked as a music director/conductor in regional theatre and theme parks and is a published arranger. His awards include a Grammy nomination for “Best Arrangement for Voices” (“High Clouds”, Grapevine Records), Music Educator of the Year (Black Music Caucus, MENC) and Principal of Note (Music Educator’s Association of NYC).