Next in the Teacher's Lounge: Off the Beaten Path: Careers Behind the Music

WorldStrides Performing Arts is proud to sponsor a series of virtual sessions from some of today's most innovative and inspiring music educators. By combining real-world advice and thoughtful discussion, each free session aims to give you a sense of connection during these unprecedented times.

Off the Beaten Path: Careers Behind the Music
Discussion led by: Amanda Back, Ali Dee Theodore, Aiyisha Obafemi, Kirt Mosier, and Sergio Cabral
Aired: Tuesday, December 8 at 5 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. PT
Open to teachers and music students, our next session is an exploration of some exciting career fields in the performing arts. We'll meet and do a live Q&A with:
  • Amanda Back – Talent Executive
  • Ali Dee Theodore – Executive Music Producer
  • Aiyisha Obafemi – Record label Chief Operating Officer
  • Kirt Mosier – Composer, Conductor, Artistic Director
  • Sergio Cabral – Songwriter and Producer

Meet Your Speakers


Amanda Back
Talent Executive, One Foot Productions


Ali Dee Theodore
Executive Music Producer, DJDTP Music


Aiyisha Obafemi
Chief Operating Officer, Disturbing tha Peace Records


Kirt Mosier
Artistic Director, Kansas City Youth Symphony


Sergio Cabral
Songwriter, Producer, DJDTP Music

Teacher's Lounge Recap

If you missed any of our previous sessions, not to worry—you can access the recorded sessions at any time.

Director Check-In: Assessing Successes and Challenges of the School Year Start
Led by: Jeffery Redding, Angela Woo, Steve Davis, Gary Seighman, and Nina VanDerhoof | Originally aired: October 7
While we all may not be destined to be a famed solo artist or in renowned rock band, there are plenty of exciting careers in the performing arts. In next week's webinar, we'll sit down with three professionals who chose alternative futures in the field of music. We'll discuss what makes their field unique, how to get started in the industry, and how their love of music continues to fuel their passions.

Teachers, you're encouraged to invite your students to join along in this important discussion. Teachers and students alike can submit questions for the panelists in advance, plus we'll do a live Q&A. We hope to see you there!

A Behind-the-Scenes Lesson in Film Scores
Led by: Jason Seber | Originally aired: September 17
Music can take a film scene from powerful to timeless. Do you know the process for coordinating those scores with the movie? Kansas City Symphony Associate Conductor Jason Seber takes us behind-the-scenes on films like Star Wars and more. You'll learn how to take this concept and develop your own lesson on film scores in your classroom. Students will enjoy seeing the process and imagining a career in this important art form.

This session could not be recorded due to the proprietary nature of the content. However, you're welcome to access the Webinar Handout resource for additional information:

How to Recruit and Retain in 2020
Led by: Jeffery Redding and Jennifer Floyd | Originally aired August 21
This school year presents many challenges, and many music directors are anxious about retaining students to their music program and their ability to recruit new interest. Join us to discuss building relationships with students in a virtual world, creating a music program of dedicated students, and driving new recruits to your classroom in our new normal.

Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion in your Music Program
Led by: Rollo Dilworth, Lesley Moffat, and Malaika Serrano | Originally aired August 20
Now, more than ever, music directors are exploring ways to incorporate more lessons and repertoire that celebrate diversity and inclusion. Our panelists help you navigate everything from hosting uncomfortable conversations with students, promoting connection and well-being, including social justice teachings, and choosing appropriate repertoire.

Pro Tips for Funding your Music Classroom
Led by: Colette Hebert, Arnekua Jackson, and Stephanie Kerr | Originally aired August 19
A spring of isolation left many music programs behind in their fundraising strategy. Our panelists will discuss unique and proven virtual fundraising ideas, plus a tutorial on getting grants for your classroom. Every attendee takes home our free COVID-approved fundraising guide!

Teaching Band and Orchestra in the New Normal
Led by: Shawn Harrel, Steven Davis, Angela Woo, and Stephen Lawrence | Originally aired August 18
Whether you will be teaching in-person or remotely, the band and orchestra classroom will look quite different this fall. Join our panelists for a discussion about teaching tactics, rehearsal strategies, instrument management, and a classroom how-to.

Teaching Choir in the Time of COVID
Led by: Jessica Nápoles and Anton Armstrong | Originally aired August 17
Join us for a deeper dive on teaching choir in our new normal. We'll discuss classroom setup suggestions, structuring virtual rehearsals, and teaching beyond the performance. Whether your plan includes remote or in-person instruction, you'll leave feeling inspired for the road ahead.

Advocating for Your Music Program: How to Win with Admin
Led by: Steve Venz, Jennifer Floyd, and Colette Hebert
| Originally aired June 25
While there continue to be many unknowns facing the performing arts, music teachers are getting creative in their upcoming school year plans. Our panelists will help you be prepared to discuss your department needs with school administrators, rally support for your program within your school and community, and develop a roadmap for teaching music in this evolving situation.

Using Music to Heal
Led by: Jessica Nápoles and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu
| Originally aired June 17
As teachers of music, we are all too familiar with its healing powers. With so much going on in the world, many of us are looking for ways to help. Join panelists Jessica Nápoles and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu as they discuss ways we can help each other, our students, and our communities to heal through song.

Overcoming Technology: A Guide for Music Teachers
Led by: Kirt Mosier, Gary Seighman, and Shawn Harrel
| Originally aired June 4
Whether you're looking to finish out the school year with some new skills or sharpen your tech-savviness over the summer break, our panelists will give you practical tips for creating digital music, tips for rehearsing and teaching virtually, introduce you to tons of online tools and platforms, and leave you feeling inspired to tackle technology.

Bridging the Gap and Choosing Your Choral Repertoire
Led by: Lynne Gackle and Edith Copley
| Originally aired May 22
Should you select easier repertoire moving into the new year? How will your choices be impacted if schools continue to run virtually? Let's discuss.

Looking forward: Choosing Your Band & Orchestra Repertoire
Led by: Jason Seber, Kirt Mosier, and Ken Ozzello
| Originally aired May 21
So, you weren't able to perform or compete this spring? Let's discuss the impact of a spring of virtual learning, lack of performances, and potential need to rebound talent levels going into the new school year.

Composing Music: A Guide to Getting Started
Led by: Greg Gilpin
| Originally aired May 20
Whether you're looking to get into composing yourself or teaching it to your students, you'll learn new techniques for getting started and broadening your skill set from seasoned Composer and Arranger Greg Gilpin.

Discussion: The Post-COVID Classroom
Led by: Jeffery Redding, Jeffery Ames, and Jessica Nápoles
| Originally aired May 19
How will your classroom standards and techniques evolve to meet new expectations post-COVID-19? Hear from GRAMMY-winning Jeffery Redding, Belmont University's Jeffery Ames, and University of North Texas's Jessica Napoles as they tackle this tough question.

Discussion: Pro Tips for Keeping your Ensemble Engaged
Led by: Jeffrey Grogan, Kirt Mosier, and Greg Gilpin
| Originally aired May 18
Learn real-world tips for going the extra mile to keep your music students engaged and invested in your newly virtual classroom.

Meet Your Speakers

Stephanie Kerr
Content & Social Marketing Manager, WorldStrides

Rollo Dilworth
Professor of Choral Music Education and Vice Dean, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University

Lesley Moffat
Director of Bands, Jackson High School


Malaika Serrano
Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, WorldStrides

Jeffery Redding
2019 GRAMMY Music Educator Award Recipient and Director of Choral Activities, University of Central Florida


Jennifer Floyd
L.A. Based String Educator and Performer


Jason Serber
Kansas City Symphony Associate Conductor


Gary Seighman
Director of Choral Activities, Trinity University


Angela Woo
Director of Instrumental Music, John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica, CA

Steven Davis
Professor of Music and Director of Bands and Wind Ensembles, UMKC


Nina VanDerhoof
Fine Arts Chairman, American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida