Dr. Crawford teaches music composition, choral arts, songwriting, and rock band for Geffen Academy at UCLA and currently serves at the state level as the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Creating and Composition Representative. As the founding president of CMEA Southwestern Section (2013-2016), Crawford currently serves on the founding committee of the new California music education conference, Casting a Wider Net. Crawford is dedicated to the ongoing evolution of state-wide focus toward music education programs.
Crawford has taught music composition and songwriting in a variety of public, private, K-12 and university environments. She began playing the piano at age 3, composing music at age 6, and teaching piano at age 12. Early career, Dr. Crawford produced music for film and media, developed and promoted new artists, built media and tech companies and startups, and represented composers for film and television.
A presenter at state, national, and international conferences, Crawford’s research focuses on creating music, composing, songwriting, foundational learning, and singing. Crawford is published by the International Society of Music Education, CMEA Magazine and as a member of the Canadian research team, Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS), is co-author of an upcoming book chapter considering elder memory and singing.
Dr. Crawford completed her undergraduate degree in composition at University of Oregon, two masters degrees and California teaching credential at University of the Pacific, and earned her doctorate at University of Southern California.
What do you see as the major challenges music education will face during your term as a CMEA Executive Board member?
We are learning that just because a genre of music is traded for another does not make better music teaching and learning. For example, trading classical music teaching and learning for popular music is not the answer. What may be the answer is music teaching and learning through the lens of creating and composition and working with music of greatest interest to music learners as well as working with strong teachers in all types of music programs.
What do you see as the major challenges facing CMEA?
Focus on teaching quality must be extremely well-considered. As well, continuing the development of veteran teachers and those in preparation programs to work compositionally with children is another major challenge facing CMEA.
How should CMEA respond to these challenges?
CMEA can design discussions in work groups and teaching environments of all types in order to develop a strong purview for linking conference sessions and workshops to support range of experience and scope of teachers’ influence.