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Elise Sobol, EdD, 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 (1st edition, 2001; 2nd edition, 2008; 3rd edition, 2017) and numerous journal articles, and contributing author to city, state, and national education publications, she is recognized on the National Honor Roll of “Outstanding American Teachers” and is extensively profiled for her work in distinguished biographical publications such as Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the World, Two Thousand Notable American Women, and the International Directory of Distinguished Leadership.

Dr. Sobol brings to higher education over thirty years of PK-12 experience teaching from early childhood through high school in regular and special education settings. While teaching in public education, she also served on the music education adjunct faculties of NYU Steinhardt; Long Island University’s College of Arts, Communications and Design; and Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, City University of New York, designing and developing music in special education courses. Professor Sobol retired in June 2016 from teaching high school music for students with developmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorders at the Rosemary Kennedy School, Wantagh, Long Island, and was brought on to the full-time faculty in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions Program in Music Education as the Music Education Program Coordinator for Field Observations and Student Teaching, the founder/director of the Continuing Education in Music (C.E.M.) community outreach program, and junior/senior and graduate Music Education academic advisor. In Fall 2018, she was appointed the Director of Music Education, overseeing the undergraduate through doctoral programs. Always dedicated to increasing accessibility and inclusion through service to our profession, she was the New York State School Music Association Chairperson for Music for Special Learners from 1993-2019, providing resources and guidance to music educators across the State. She continues to serve the Regents Blue Ribbon Commission on the Arts, as co-chair of the Portfolio Committee to develop the 4+1 Arts Pathway, and actively gives dedicated service to the Advisory Boards of the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs and its Leadership Network, and the Music Educators Association of New York City. 

As an international clinician, Professor Sobol has brought her interactive style of facilitative instruction to participants throughout the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Topics draw upon her extensive research and 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," "Anchor Standard #11, Context is Key for Students with ASD," "From the Inside Out: Embedding Inclusion in Classroom and Ensemble Settings,” "Music-Assisted P-12 Life Learning in Teacher Education Preparation Programs," and, dedicated to closing the gap between policy and practice, “Desiloing Arts Education and Disability Studies.”

A three-time Grammy-nominated music educator, Dr. Sobol was named 2016 Education Update Professor of the Year and 2016 Honoree for the Music Educators Association of New York City. She was also selected by the New York State Education Department as 2015 New York State Teacher of the Year Finalist. Further honors include the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis' Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2012 New York State School Music Association Distinguished Service Award, the 2004 Ernest Kay International Foundation Award, the 2003 Certificate of service in recognition of continuing contributions to Music Education at New York University, citations from the Town Board of Oyster Bay and The New York State Assembly, nomination for the New York State Senate ”Women of Distinction" Program, the Very Special Arts Award of Honor, and 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; Boston; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Chicago; Amsterdam; Dublin; Lisbon, Portugal; Melbourne, Australia; New Zealand; Oranjestad, Aruba; and both Cambridge and Oxford, England. Some of her recordings can be accessed through Spotify under the album’s name, Elise Sobol: From Elise. With specialized performance and theory studies at both the Mannes College of Music and the Juilliard School, her degrees include Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the New School; Master of Arts (MA) in Music and Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and Doctorate in Education (EdD) in Instructional Leadership and Curriculum Design from St. John’s University, New York.

Dr. Sobol completed her full-time service as Director of Music Education at NYU in August 2021. As of September 1, 2021, Dr. Sobol has rejoined the adjunct faculty and combines teaching her specialty courses such as Music for Exceptional Children with administrative responsibilities as Coordinator for the Music Licensure Programs. In all her professional activities, she continues her advocacy for arts education across neighborhoods and zip codes. “Every child should and can have school success. It is up to us as teachers to find out how the child learns best and then to adapt instructional strategies accordingly to optimize his/her/their potential. Let us join together in this common hymn, to make a difference in the lives of our children.”


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