Scott Shuler

Shuler Prof Photo color

General Background

Scott C. Shuler served for 25 years as the Arts Education specialist in the Connecticut State Department of Education, where he guided curriculum, teacher pre- and in-service training and certification, education policy and other areas affecting arts education. He has also served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for the Simsbury Public Schools. Prior to coming to Connecticut Dr. Shuler was Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and taught K-12 instrumental and general music in Michigan, Delaware, and Wisconsin. He has served on the faculties of the University of Delaware, the Wilmington Music School, the Hartt School of Music, Central Connecticut State University, and the New England Conservatory; as an Instructor at the Eastman School of Music and Gordon College; as a guest lecturer at dozens of universities; and as an artist-in-residence for the Rochester (NY) Aesthetic Education Institute.

A native of Detroit, Dr. Shuler earned his B.Mus. with Honors in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Michigan; his M.S. in Education on a graduate fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and his Ph.D. in Music Education on a doctoral fellowship from the Eastman School of Music. He is a member of honorary and professional societies in both education and music. As a clinician, he has delivered hundreds of keynotes and provided professional development workshops for educators and artists in 48 states and various nations in North America, Europe, and Asia.


Curriculum and Program Development

Dr. Shuler was a member of the task force that developed America’s first National Standards in Music Education in 1994, and contributed to the development of companion publications outlining National Opportunity-to-Learn standards and Performance Standards that included assessments. In Connecticut he chaired development of statewide standards in dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts; model standards-based curriculum guides in several local school districts; and model standards-based units with embedded assessment and benchmarked student work accessible at He was the primary author and content editor of A Guide to K-12 Program Development in the Arts, thousands of copies of which have guided local district curriculum design or served as textbooks for university arts curriculum courses across the U.S. Invited to help create the second generation of national arts standards, Scott Shuler co-chaired the writing team that crafted the National Core Music Standards published in 2014 and serves on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) that oversaw development and now supports implementation of those standards.

While serving as Simsbury’s Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Curriculum and Instruction, Shuler designed and implemented a management system for developing and articulating standards-based units in all content areas based on the Understanding by Design model. In addition to completing countless curriculum and program reviews for districts and individual schools in his role as arts consultant in Connecticut’s Bureau of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Shuler has conducted program and accreditation reviews and facilitated self-studies for higher education and K-12 educational institutions as well as community arts organizations.


Student Assessment

An oft-cited author and frequent keynoter and workshop presenter on the topics of arts assessment and performance assessment, Dr. Shuler has overseen the collaborative development of common arts assessments at the local, state, and national levels. He coordinated the development of Connecticut’s Common Arts Assessments, an initiative that created state-of-the-art performance assessments in music and the visual arts through a process of grassroots development, piloting, scoring, and benchmarking that eventually involved hundreds of teachers from states across the Northeast. To empower teachers to develop and disseminate standards-based units with embedded performance assessment, Shuler launched and oversaw development of the innovative web site. The use of this powerful tool – selected as the platform for national piloting and scoring of Model Cornerstone Assessments in the arts – has become so widespread that the fourth generation site was renamed

In his national assessment work Scott Shuler co-chaired the music design team for, and was a member of the steering committee overseeing, the 1997 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the Arts; helped design and interpret the 1999 FRSS federal survey of arts education practices nationwide; and for several years co-chaired the Council of Chief State School Officers’ SCASS/Arts interstate assessment consortium. He currently co-chairs the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) task force that is developing, piloting, benchmarking, and disseminating Model Cornerstone Assessments based on the National Core Arts Standards.


Teacher Preparation, Supervision, and Evaluation

Dr. Shuler supervised undergraduate fieldwork for the University of Michigan and University of Delaware, and supervised music interns as a cooperating teacher under the Wisconsin Internship Program. While on faculty at CSULB, he served as Music Credential Advisor and chaired the University-wide Committee on Single Subject (aka, secondary teaching) Credentialing.  At that time, Shuler was trained in Teacher Effectiveness and Clinical Coaching under a grant to improve student teacher supervision. His coaching sessions were selected as exemplary, and video of those sessions was used for training faculty throughout California.

Dr. Shuler coordinated the development of content-specific teacher standards in music and visual arts for Connecticut’s innovative Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) program, for which he was trained as a portfolio scorer and later led scorer training. He assisted the state’s certification bureau in developing and refining teacher certification requirements, and subsequently spearheaded the development of teacher standards and certification in dance and theatre. As Simsbury’s Assistant Superintendent of Schools, he supervised and evaluated senior administrators in several content areas.



The varied leadership roles Dr. Shuler has assumed during his career have garnered state and national recognition, and provide the foundation for his keynotes and workshops on leadership. His performing groups were awarded a Wisconsin State Legislative Citation for Excellence. While on the faculty of CSULB, Shuler earned the university’s Meritorious Performance Award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and community service. He received Arts Education Policy Review’s “Young Writer’s Award” for excellence as an author; the Educational Press Association’s “Distinguished Achievement Award” for editing the Music Educators Journal special issue focusing on “Music and At-Risk Students;” “Distinguished Service” and “Outstanding Administrator” awards from Connecticut’s music, art, and theatre associations; and the National Federation Interscholastic Music Association’s regional “Outstanding Music Educator Award.”  At the national level Shuler serv
ed as president of the National Council of State Supervisors of Music and, more recently, as President of NAfME: The National Association for Music Education.