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About the Event

Though not a new phenomenon, the prevalence of student trauma has recently garnered national attention. This ongoing public health crisis (van der Kolk, 2005) hinders learning, connection, and the well-being of entire school communities (Jennings, 2019). Often on the margins of conversations surrounding student needs or unable to access educational documents (Belfast & VanWeelden, 2022), music teachers seeking to support students with trauma are frequently placed in precarious positions that could potentially lead to students’ re-traumatization due to missing information, large student caseloads, and limited time with students. Without a deeper understanding of trauma responses, music teachers may find themselves in positions where they are unable to adequately meet students’ needs, ultimately impeding classroom aims and destroying relationships (Price, 2023). This presentation focuses on music teacher attunement to trauma sequelae—the biological, neurological, and psychological changes that occur post-trauma—and how this attunement might be leveraged to make music learning environments more “in tune.” In this session we will:

  1. Define trauma and better understand its ubiquity, prevalence, and sources.
  2. Understand basic components of a trauma-informed approach.
  3. Better understand trauma sequelae to help depersonalize behaviors.
  4. Discuss the role of attunement and mutual relationships in supporting students and teachers with trauma.

Erin PriceErin Price is an Adjunct Professor of Music Education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a special education music teacher and researcher in the Greater Harrisburg area. Before teaching general music and elementary special education music for a Pennsylvania public cyber charter school, Erin worked in multiple Pennsylvania Approved Private Schools for students with emotional disturbance, where she served students aged 5–21 with advanced inpatient and outpatient behavioral support needs. She holds a B.M. in music education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from Boston University. A champion for equity and increased access points in music education, she frequently presents research on trauma-informed music pedagogy and the intersections of trauma and emotional/behavioral disorders.

NAfME presents this live virtual event at no charge to all as a service to the music education profession. To register, you must enter your NAfME member information or create a nonmember account. After registering, check your email for instructions. A recording of this program will be available to all registrants for one week following the live event. Members can also view archived NAfME webinars in the NAfME Academy. The views expressed are those of the presenter; they do not necessarily reflect the views of NAfME.

April 2024 Teaching Music

Start Date

June 04, 2024

End Date

June 04, 2024

Start and End Time

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm (ET)


  • Classroom Management

Event Category

  • Live Virtual
  • Webinar

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