People - Music Education

Music Education Faculty: Elise Sobol


Elise Sobol, educator/pianist has made unique contributions to the field of teaching music to special learners. Author of "An Attitude and Approach for Teaching Music to Special Learners" (Pentland Press, USA . 2001, first edition, and MENC/Rowman & Littlefield Education, second edition, 2008), numerous journal articles, contributing author to city, state, and national education publications, she has received recognition for her work in music in special education. One of the 2005/06 National Honor Roll of "Outstanding American Teachers" Professor Sobol is included in distinguished biographical publications such as Marquis'  Who's Who in American Education (2010), Who's Who in the World (2009), Two Thousand Notable American Women (2000), and International Dictionary of Distinguished Leadership (9th Edition).

Professor Sobol has K-12 experience teaching from early childhood through high school in regular and special education settings. Concurrently with being on the music education adjunct faculties of both New York University"s Steinhardt School and the C.W. Post/Long Island University School of Visual and Performing Arts, Professor Sobol maintains her full-time position as music teacher at the Nassau BOCES Department of Special Education, Rosemary Kennedy School.   Since 1993, she has been the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Chairperson of Music for Special Learners acting as an important resource for educators not only stateside, but nationally too.  She additionally  serves on the Executive Board of the Council of Music Teacher Education Programs (COMTEP).  Active as an international clinician, Professor Sobol has brought her interactive style of facilitation to participants throughout the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Topics draw upon her extensive experience teaching students with social, emotional behavioral, developmental, and learning disabilities with titles such as "Building Bridges for Learning with Music", "Cultivating Cognition with Musical Interventions", "Reaching Higher with Music in Education", "Music for Milestones" and "Rehearsal Techniques for Successful Inclusion Practices in Music Performance."

In March, 2003, Dr. John Gilbert, Director of Music Education honored Professor Sobol with a certificate of service in recognition of continuing contribution to Music Education at New York University, adding to the quality of experience for our students." Further honors include the 2004 Ernest Kay International Foundation Award),  citations from the Town Board of Oyster Bay, The New York State Assembly, nomination for the New York State "Women of Distinction" Program, the Very Special Arts Award of Honor, appearances on channel 12 News and NewsDay's Long Island Life Winners column.  Active professionally as a pianist, Elise Sobol has appeared as speaker/performer in New York City,Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Dublin, Lisbon, Portugal, Melbourne, Australia, New Zealand, Oranjestad, Aruba, in both Cambridge and Oxford, England and recently made her debut in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In 2007, Elise Sobol was re-engaged by the Melbourne Musicians Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne, Australia for the world premiere performance of the Walter Skolnick Piano Concerto composed for and dedicated to her.  With specialized performance and theory studies at both the Mannes College of Music and the Juilliard School, Professor Sobol earned her B.A. from the New School and her M.A. from Teacher College, Columbia University.

Currently she combines over 25 years of teaching students with exceptionalities with post -graduate doctoral work at St. John's University in Instructional Leadership and Technology.  Added to her list of publications is her newest  chapter for Oxford University Press entitled "Music Learning in Special Education: Focus on Autism and Developmental Disabilities."


As author:

Sobol, E.S. (2008) An Attitude and Approach for Teaching Music to Special Learners,

Second Edition. Reston, Va. MENC: The National Association for Music/Rowman& Littlefield Education

Sobol, E.S. (2001) An Attitude and Approach for Teaching Music to Special Learners

Raleigh, N.C.: Pentland Press, USA.

Sobol, E.S.  (2009) Special Needs in Music: Treasure on the Web, School Music News

November 2009,

As contributing author:

Oxford University Press ( in press). R.Colwell/P.Webster, eds. Music Learning in Special Education: Focus on Autism and Developmental Disabilities  MENC Handbook on Research on Music Learning

MENC (June 2010) Brown, L, ed. General Music Today: Instructional Strategies for

Students with ADD or ADHD,

MENC.(August 2009).Moore, P. ed. Teaching Music Magazine Confronting ADHD in the Music Classroom

New York City Board of Education (2008) New York City Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Music, preK-12, 2nd Edition.

MENC (2006) Jennifer Scott Miceli, Elise Sobol, Maureen T. Makowski, and Izzet Mergen

A Four-Way Perspective on the Development and Importance of Music Learning Theory-Based PreK-16 Music Education Partnerships Involving Music for Special Learners  Journal of Music Teacher Education 2006 16: 65-78.

MENC (2004) Spotlight on Making Music with Special Learners. Reston, Va: MENC

The National Association of Music Education.

NYSSMA and State Education Department (2002).  Music: A Resource Guide  for Standards Based Instruction. Albany, New York: The University of the State of New York.

The State Education Department (2001) Tools for Schools, Improving Student Achievement Through the Arts. Albany, New York: The University of the State of New York

Journal articles in the New York State School Music News and Journal of Music Teacher     Education. ( for complete listing see Sobol (2008) p. 101-102)

Current recording and film credits including newest release:

 (2009) DVD-Music Views   Across the State : Exemplary Standards Based Instruction produced by Fusion and distributed by New York State School Music Association.                            

Updated 8/2010