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Elise S. Sobol, Ed.D. first authored the text An Attitude and Approach for Teaching Music to Special Learners in 2001 helping to shape the global field of music teaching in special education. The text, now translated into numerous languages, has had two updates, 2008, 2nd edition, and 2017, 3rd edition reflecting her PK-12+ experience in public and higher education and doctoral research. Contributing author to numerous state and national publications, she continues to serve the educational field by developing new materials for teaching neurodiverse learners across the curriculum, as well as serving on the advisory boards of the Music Educators Association of New York City (MEANYC), the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education (BIAAE) in Boston and the Fundacion Muchila Creativo (FMC)in Aruba. Stateside, she served as the New York State School Music Association Chair for Music for Special Learners (1993-2020) and is currently a Co-Chair of the NYSSMA Belonging Equity Diversity and Representation (BEDR) Policy Sub-Committee. Her broad educational background includes an Associate in Arts (A.A.) from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, MA; piano performance with Murray Perahia at Mannes College of Music, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the New School, NY; Master of Arts (M.A.) in music and music education from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY; post-graduate disability studies with certificates in teaching students with autism and related developmental disorders; and a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Instructional Leadership and Curriculum Development from St. John’s University, NY. Listed in the National Honor Roll of Outstanding American Teachers, Dr. Sobol was selected as the 2015 New York State Teacher of the Year Finalist, and the next year named, 2016 Outstanding Professor of the Year in Educational Update and MEANYC Honoree. In 2018, Dr. Sobol received the Albert Nelson Marquis’ Lifetime Achievement Award for decades of groundbreaking work dedicated to special education and inclusion in the arts. As a concert pianist, Dr. Sobol has appeared as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. As a lecturer, she has appeared at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and participated in prestigious conferences, including the panel for “Promoting inclusive and equitable access to public services” for the Global Conference on the SDG 16 (Sustainable Development Goals) co-hosted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the International Development Law Organization, and the Government of Italy, and for the 2022 Arts Education Partners Virtual Gathering, “Advancing Policy by Desiloing Arts Education and Disability Studies.” A PK-12+ music educator in general and special education for over thirty years, and an NYU adjunct instructor in music and music education since 2000, Dr. Sobol was invited to become part of the full-time faculty of MPAP as a Visiting Associate Professor in the fall of 2017. She was subsequently appointed as the Director of Music Education at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development where she led the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and community outreach programs. In August 2021, the end of her visiting line contract, she retired from full-time faculty service. This opened up new opportunities of sharing her experience in teacher preparation, supervision, and transformational leadership with the next generations of music educators. Honored by NYU’s USG for her work with students, Fall 2023 marks her 23rd year of Dr. Sobol’s faculty association in the NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.


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