Richard Wells


Richard Wells has been a music educator for the past 40 years.  He retired in 2010 from the position of Director of Music and Performing Arts for the Simsbury, CT Public Schools.   As a teacher he taught in an urban school at all levels and areas of music including elementary, middle school and high school band and orchestra, elementary general music and chorus, and a talented and gifted program for music.   As an administrator he directed the theater, dance and music programs in the Simsbury Public Schools

National Coalition for Common Arts Standards – Richard is currently the Co-Chair of the Music Writing Team for the National Coalition for Common Arts Standards, the group that recently released the next generation of voluntary standards for arts education.

Common Arts Assessment Initiative – Richard is the leader for the music component of the Common Arts Assessment Project, a program originally developed in Connecticut, but now including other states in the New England area.  This project provides teachers with the capacity to develop, pilot and score standards based on statewide assessments with student work.  Tasks have been competed at the 2nd, 5th and 8th grade levels in the areas of creating and performing and are posted along with student work on the http:\\ website. Additional tasks are currently being developed at the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th grade levels providing a sequence of benchmarked grade level assessments from grade 2 through 8.   Our next focus will be the development of high school tasks.

Presenter – Richard is an experienced presenter and has lead many state curriculum and assessment projects.  These have included multiple grants to develop curriculum and assessments based on the National Standards.  He has also been a frequent presenter at state, regional and national conventions and institutes sponsored by NAfME (National Association for Music Education), the International Schools (AREO) and for numerous school districts and state organizations.

Inter-district Diversity Grants – Richard has also developed and implemented a number of inter-district grants that have been designed to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation in Connecticut.  These grants have used Music Composition, Steel Pan and Ballroom Dance  to effectively bring students from diverse background together through the arts.

Associations and Leadership – Richard has served as the President of the Connecticut Arts Administrator’s Association, and President of the National Council of Supervisors of Music Education, and on the editorial board of the MEJ.  He has been  a member of the Connecticut Music Educators Association, Connecticut Alliance for Arts Education, the New England Arts Assessment Network, SCASS Arts Group, and President of Phi Beta Mu, an honorary band director’s association.