Due to developing COVID-19 concerns, the University has issued guidelines for hosting events the remainder of this semester. Our goal is to keep all students, faculty, staff, and guests safe. Therefore, the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Music have canceled the conference.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. We look forward to greeting you at our next conference, for which we have already secured dates with featured presenter Alice Hammel. Please mark your calendars for April 16 – 17, 2021.

We appreciate your understanding

4th Annual UA Teach Music Conference

Teaching Students with Special Needs: Inclusion & Access

Hosted by the University of Arkansas Collegiate Chapter of the

Under the direction of Dr. Dan Abrahams

Don’t miss the opportunity to
  • connect with other NWA music educators
  • learn from experts in the field (check out this year’s presenters below)
  • gain valuable insights for teaching special needs students
  • earn professional development hours
  • check out what’s new at UAMusic & meet our music education faculty
  • interact with area vendors
  • join in the annual ukulele jam! 

Who Should Attend

  • Music educators
  • Music education students
  • Community members interested in music education


April 3 – 4, 2020


Lewis E. Epley Jr. Band Building – U of A Fayetteville Campus   Click here for maps and directions.


This program is offered free of charge as a community outreach project of the Department of Music. Registration is required.

For More Information About Registration      email us at cms@uark.edu 

For More Information About Curriculum      email Dr. Dan Abrahams at abrahams@uark.edu 


Friday, April 3, 2020

5:30 – 6:00 P.M.

6:00 – 7:00 P.M.

7:15 – 8:15 P.M.

8:30 – 9:30 P.M.


Overcoming Performance Anxiety Presented by Robin Speilberg (Sponsored by FPAC)

Inclusive Classrooms and Rehearsals by Vicki Lind

Ukulele Jam Hosted by the UARK NAfME Students  – Bring your Ukulele and jam to top 40 hits throughout the decades

Epley Band Building Lobby

Saturday, April 4, 2020

8:00 – 8:30 A.M.

8:30 – 11:00 A.M.

11:00 – 12:00

12:15 – 1:30 P.M.

1:45 – 2:45 P.M.

1:45 – 2:45 P.M.

2:45 – 3:45 P.M. 

4:00 – 4:15 P.M. 


Autism Spectrum Disorders presented by Alice Hammel

Lunch on Your Own

Music Therapy by Robin Speilberg (Sponsored by FPAC)

Accommodations and Adaptations in Marching Band for Students with Special Needs by Chris Church

Roundtable: Teaching Students with Special Needs in the Middle School Choral Classroom

Rehearsal Techniques for an Inclusive Ensemble by Jann Knighten

Closing Remarks

Epley Band Building Lobby

7:00 P.M. 

Robin Speilberg Piano Recital

Faulkner Performing Arts Center

Meet the Presenters

Dr. Alice Hammel



Alice Hammel, Outstanding Music Educator of the Year (2018) in Virginia, is a widely known music educator, author, and clinician whose experience in music is extraordinarily diverse. She a member of the faculty of James Madison University, and has many years of experience teaching instrumental and choral music in public and private schools. She also teaches online courses through many institutions throughout the United States. She has maintained a large, independent flute studio for over 25 years.

Dr. Hammel travels widely to universities during the school year to serve as in-residence scholar in the area of students with special needs. This travel, combined with state, national, and international conference headline and keynote presentations keeps Dr. Hammel well informed of the needs of both pre-service and in-service music educators. During summer months, Dr. Hammel teaches in graduate programs for music educators around the United States. Her expertise in those teaching situations ranges from musicianship, pedagogy, and teaching students who learn differently. This wide demand places her in close collaboration with PK-12 music educators who are seeking to become better teachers and musicians.

Dr. Hammel has put these varied experiences to great use while compiling a large body of scholarly work. She is a co-author for four texts: Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-free Approach (second edition published in 2017), Teaching Music to Students with Autism, Winding It Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings, and Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Practical Resource (published in 2017) available through Oxford University Press. Dr. Hammel has contributed chapters to several other Oxford University Press resources including Composing our Future (edited by Kaschub and Smith) and Exceptional Pedagogy (edited by McCord and Blair). She has also written chapters for GIA and Routlege Publication resources. Dr. Hammel is a contributing author to a variety of resources available through the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and has published widely in music, arts, special, and general education journals.

Dr. Hammel has been affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for several years and has presented multiple workshops for arts educators and arts administrators through this association. She serves on the committee for the Kennedy Center National Forum: Examining the Intersection of Arts Education and Special Education, and serves on the planning committee for their annual national conference. Dr. Hammel is Chair of the National Association for Music Education Task Force on Students with Special Needs. She is on the Editorial Board of the Council for Exceptional Children – Division for the Arts, is a member of the Teacher Education and Editorial Board Committees, and Member at Large for the Organization of American Kodály Educators.  In addition, she serves as an expert with the National Association for Music Education’s Solutions Music Group and is a Conn-Selmer Clinician. Dr. Hammel is currently President Elect of the Council for Exceptional Children – Division for the Arts.

Dr. Hammel is a proud alumna of Shenandoah Conservatory (BME – magna cum laude and DMA) and Florida State University (MME). She holds post-doctoral certifications from the Organization of American Kodály Educators and the Gordon Institute for Music Learning. Dr. Hammel is a multiple award recipient honoring her commitment to music education and music teacher education. In 2016, Shenandoah University honored her with their Alumnae of Excellence Award. In 2017, James Madison University created a named award in her honor celebrating her years of scholarship and service dedicated to the inclusion of all students in music education.


Robin Speilberg


Robin Spielberg is a Celebrity Spokesperson for the American Music Therapy Association. Spielberg’s interest in the connection between music and healing synergized when she witnessed the positive effect music had on her own baby when born prematurely and the difference music made during her 4-month stay in the neo-natal intensive care unit. The release “Beautiful Dreamer” was the result of this experience, a recording of lullabies and songs on solo piano for the parent and child. Spielberg’s work with music and wellness has been covered by The New York Times and in segments on LifeTime Live and ABC News. Her popular TEDx TALK on music and wellness has had over 87,000 views and has resulted in lectures and workshops in schools, hospitals, community centers, nursing care facilities and performing arts centers nation-wide. Major institutions who have presented these sessions include; The Mayo Clinic, Eastern Tennessee State University, Fergus Fall Arts Center, Saint Joseph College, Castleton State College, The Kerr Cultural Center, and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.


Vicki Lind



Vicki R. Lind is Chair of the Music Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Arizona and M.M.E. and B.M.E. degrees from Wichita State University. Lind has extensive teaching experience at the elementary, secondary, and university level.  Prior to her appointment at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, she served on the music education faculty at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Lind’s research interests include issues of equity and access in music education and music teaching and teacher education. She has published articles in numerous journals including General Music Today, The Choral Journal, The International Journal for Education and the Arts, and the Journal of Music Teacher Education and she was a contributing author in the book, Conceptually Framing Music Teaching And Learning Within The Context Of Culture: Implications For Music Teacher Education and co-authored the book Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education: From Understanding to Application.  Lind regularly presents at national and international conferences and she is involved in the design and implementation of professional development programs for public school music teachers.  Lind serves on the board for Arkansas Chapter of NAfME and is an active member of the Society for Music Teacher Education.


Chris Church



Chris Church, a graduate of Missouri State University, is a 38-year Veteran Band Director. He served as the Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chairman in Willard, Missouri for 32 years and is currently teaching on an 8-person team in the Springdale Har-Ber Band Program in Springdale, Arkansas.  His marching bands and jazz bands have consistently placed at or near the top in all festivals attended and he has also worked as a drill designer for numerous bands throughout the Midwest. His Wind Symphony earned State Level Honor I Ratings for 32 consecutive years.   Chris has 20 years of experience working within Drum Corps International.   He spent 13 seasons with the World Champion Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois where he worked with 6 DCI Hall of Fame members.  While with Phantom Regiment, Chris served on the Marching/Visual Staff, Visual Caption Head, and drill writer. He is currently serving as a Visual Judge for Drum Corps International (DCI). He has provided marching clinics and adjudicated marching bands, concert, and jazz ensembles throughout the United States. Chris has judged Winter Guard/Indoor Percussion for the Mid-Continent Color Guard Association (MCCGA), the Winter Guard and Percussion of Oklahoma (WGPO), the Arkansas Marching Arts Association (AMAA), and the Louisiana/Mississippi Color Guard & Percussion Circuit. He is a graduate of the Marching Roundtable Judges academy and also adjudicates concert bands, solo & ensembles, and jazz festivals.  Chris is a certified solo/ensemble and concert band judge for Missouri and Arkansas.  Chris, also was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and taught in Tokyo and Kanazawa City, Japan.

Kristy Harter



Kristy Harter is a Structured Learning Services Teacher at McNair Middle School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She has been teaching for 6 years and has worked with students from various ability levels and disabilities. She works to collaborate with her fellow teachers to help students succeed to the best of their abilities within all areas of school including Music, Art, Theater and Technology. 

Lisa Davis



Welcome, my name is Lisa Davis. I have a BSBA in Computer Information Systems from the University of Arkansas and a Master’s in Arts of Teaching from the University of Arkansas in Monticello. I have an MSE in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University. This is my 17th year in education. Before becoming an administrator, I taught every grade from 5th – 12th grade in both core and encore subject areas. I taught middle school Language Arts and Math, as well as middle school and high school Business Education. I also was an adjunct professor in Educational Studies for three years and a Middle Level Instructional Technology Coach for four years. I am currently the Principal at McNair Middle School in Fayetteville Public Schools. My job allows me to have the best of all worlds in that I work with students, teachers, and families on a daily basis.   

Jennie Alves



Jennie Alves is a General Music Teacher and the Show Choir Director at McNair Middle School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her Show Choirs have performed with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. Previously, she taught at Happy Hollow Elementary School. She has been in the Fayetteville Public School District for 14 years. She has taught High School and Middle School Choir and General Music in New York. In Texas, she taught Junior High and High School Choirs, as well as private voice lessons. She has a Master of Music Education with a concentration in Choral Conducting and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Studies. Mrs. Alves is completing her 28th year in teaching Music to young adults and children, a job that does not feel like work because it is her passion.

Special thanks to our conference sponsors!