Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

A view of Washington Square Park fountain from Kimmel Center

Alumni in Action

Music Education

woman holding guitar in front of sign that says music

Juliana Dueñas Lopez (‘20, BM)

Juliana Dueñas Lopez graduated with her BM in Music Education in 2020. She is now completing her first year as a PK-8 General Music and Choir teacher in Newark, NJ. Juliana is focused on equity, decolonization, and social justice in the music classroom, something that she has been passionate about since her time at NYU. She is very grateful for the opportunities she found at NYU to explore and deepen her understanding of these important topics through her student teaching/observation placements, with her professors, and through the global education offered at NYU.

woman holding guitar

Andrew Ingkavet (‘87, BM)

Andrew Ingkavet is a best-selling author, educator, and entrepreneur. He is creator of the Musicolor Method, an adaptive and inclusive curriculum that enables preliterate and special needs children to to easily learn music. He is the owner and director of a thriving music school, Park Slope Music Lessons, and author of Piano For Kids, a series of instructional songbooks, as well as the Game of Practice, with 53 tips to make practice fun. 


Dr. Casey J. Hayes (‘09 Doctoral)

Dr. Casey Hayes is  a 2021 Fulbright Scholar to Vienna, Austria, as the Botstiber Senior Researcher in Austro-American Studies. His research focuses upon the unique nature of Vienna and NYC as points of exile for Weimar Berlin's Gay Cabaret Community. He has spoken across the globe and written extensively on creating a safe space for LGBTQ music students in Catholic schools in Ireland and the US.

woman on stage holding flute

Jieyu (Michelle) Cao (‘17 MA, ‘19 Adv. Cert.)

Jieyu Cao is a certified music educator in the international society for music education. She holds her pre-doctoral advanced certificate and master’s degree from NYU's Music Education program. Cao holds over 10 years of professional musical experience both in Shanghai and New York as a music educator, flutist, pianist, and composer.

Kim Lowenborg Coyne (‘93 Doctoral)

Kim Lowenborg-Coyne is a SEHNAP alumna based on Long Island. Currently the Director of Art and Music Programs for North Babylon Schools, Kim has performed with her students at Carnegie Hall and the White House, supervising over 125 concerts and exhibits each year. Under her supervision, the program has been recognized by NAMM as a Best Community in America for Music Education 15 times and she is currently working on a $225,000 grant award for the arts programs which will bring steel pan orchestras, virtual field trip experiences, and an iPad orchestra to special needs students in the community. Kim is most proud of her North Babylon graduates who continue their music education studies at NYU, including Esther Duclair, NYU class of 2024 double major in Music Education and Vocal Performance. She is the proud wife of Christopher and mom to Grace and Jack Coyne.

man holding book and shaking hands with woman with others looking on

Akini Gill  (‘14, MA)

Akini Gill is currently an Instructor II (Music Education) at the Center for Education Programmes, University of Trinidad and Tobago, (UTT).  Akini experienced a number of learning challenges during his school years. He believes his achievements are a testament to his courage, ambition, and determination. Akini won a National Scholarship from the government of Trinidad and Tobago in 2011 to pursue a Master of Arts in Music Education from NYU. His book entitled From Behind the Bridge to The Impossible Dream was officially launched in Trinidad and Tobago in July 2019, and in February 2020 it was launched in New York City at NYU.  The book is about “the remarkable journey of Akini Gill, a boy with learning challenges. A story of love and unyielding grit. A story of faith and hope.”  In 2018, he facilitated special music education workshops with music teachers in Antigua and Barbuda.

woman holding traditional instrument

Jiaoyue Lyu (‘14, MA)

Jiaoyue Lyu is the co-founder and director of the NYU East Asian Alumni Performing Arts Conference; the producer and performer of the “Serene Moon” Guqin Lecture-Recital World Tour in seven countries, including the top venues like Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In 2016, the Metropolitan Museum of Art invited Jiaoyue to demonstrate Guqin videos for the Met’s official website. In 2018, Jiaoyue’s work received five million views in one week and extensive coverage by leading a team to produce a song-cover project in which American children performed a Chinese tongue-twister rap song. As a doctoral student in the Chief Learning Officer Program (EdD)  of the University of Pennsylvania, combined with her unique cross-cultural background, bilingual education in arts is her contribution to the greater community. In 2019, Jiaoyue founded Hello, Mandarin!, a pioneering bilingual educational start-up that teaches children to study the arts and music by using Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction.

Christine Inserra (‘13, MA) 

While attending undergraduate school at Ithaca College, Christine  realized that she wanted to live in NYC and teach in an urban setting. This led her to NYU to obtain her master's degree. She shifted focus from instrumental band to voice/choir/general music, and has spent the majority of her teaching career in that field. She’s been the music teacher at PS 340 in Chelsea, Manhattan, since the school's opening in 2014. While there, she has developed a curriculum using the Music and the Brain keyboard literacy program, Carnegie Hall's Link Up recorder program, and the Little Kids Rock modern band. She has also been a cooperating teacher with NYU since 2016.

woman teaching class

Katherine Gordon (‘20, BM)

After graduating from NYU Steinhardt, Katherine Gordon began her career as a music teacher at the Immaculate Conception School (ICS) in the Bronx. She teaches grades PK-8th grade through the hybrid learning method, meaning that she teaches students both in-person and remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Katherine is building the music program at ICS by creating ensembles, teaching an original, multicultural, and culturally responsive curriculum, writing instrument grants, and partnering with the Musical Mentors Collaborative (an organization she worked with at NYU) to bring private music lessons to her students. Additionally, Katherine was recently accepted to the Hunter College graduate program for music composition, and will begin her first semester in the spring. She hopes to blend her studies of music composition with her experience in music education in order to create a composition-based music curriculum for her students. Katherine's goal is to make every student in her classroom feel like they can be composers too, and for her students to feel the excitement and joy that writing and participating in music can create.

woman conducting concert

Ana Silarski (‘15, MA)

Ana Silarski has been a teacher at International School in Bellevue, WA, for the past 5 years, growing the program from three ensembles to six ensembles with students from grades 6-12.

Daniel Leopold (‘95, MA)

While getting his MA in Music Education, Daniel volunteered at the Nordoff/Robbins Music Therapy Clinic. After graduating, he was accepted to Hahnemann University in Philadelphia where he received his MA in Creative Arts Therapies in 1997. A few years later, he came back to NY and got his first job with the Department of Education (DOE) working in District 75 with special education populations. Daniel has been working for the DOE for 20 years now and has worked with both mainstream and special education populations. Daniel realized that even in mainstream populations there was a need for music therapy skills in the classroom because not all students who need special education services get evaluated and receive them. He specializes in working with students with emotional disturbances and students who are on the Autistic Spectrum. He has been working for the past nine years in District 75 at P186x in Morrisania.

woman playing flute with piano accompanyment

Patricia Cardona (‘16, Advanced Certificate)

Patricia Cardona is a member of the Latin American Chamber Players, a coordinator for the Puerto Rico Flute Symposium, and a flute instructor at Brooklyn Music School.