Town Hall - Improvising as a Music Educator

August 26, 2020

Back to school in 2020 was saturated with uncertainty and anxiety, particularly for music educators. This Town Hall aimed to help teachers across Canada make sense of how to move forward in a time when there were far more questions than answers, through the lens of musical improvisation: how can you remain responsive to an ever-changing situation? How can you reflect on your own teaching and respond and improve as you go? How can you balance realities with possibilities? This Town Hall discussion brought together four seasoned music teachers from coast to coast, to discuss tactics for maintaining meaningful music education experiences for students in an entirely unpredictable educational environment.

Moderated by Nick Godsoe (Manager of Programs & Education, MusiCounts)


Catherine Ludwig

School and District Administrator, Richmond School District, Richmond, BC

Catherine Ludwig is a School and District Administrator in the Richmond School District (SD38) in British Columbia. She is currently learning and leading as the Principal at Archibald Blair Elementary and as District Administrator - Fine Arts (K-12). Catherine began her career as a full time band, choir and music educator in 1997 before joining her district’s leadership team in 2006. She is also a proud Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education (NOIIE) leader, actively creating resources and organizing study tours for educators and leaders from across the International NOIIE Network.

Andrew Mercer

Online Music Teacher and Owner,, Newfoundland and Labrador

Andrew Mercer has been teaching high school music entirely over the Internet with students throughout Newfoundland and Labrador since 2002. His innovative work in online music education has been featured in media sources such as CNN, Popular Science, The Canadian Music Educator and The Globe and Mail.

Laura Lee Matthie

Music Teacher and Arts Chair, Simcoe County District School Board, Orillia, ON

Laura Lee Matthie has been teaching instrumental, guitar, and vocal music in Simcoe County since 1995 at the secondary level. She has experience in school closures, amalgamation and the design & opening of a new school. As such, she is now a pro at packing and unpacking a music program! She often works with her family of schools to assist them in providing music programming. Laura Lee is Arts Chair at Orillia Secondary School and is the recipient of the 2018 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award. Laura Lee is currently the treasurer for the Ontario Music Educators’ Association (OMEA) board of directors and was President of the OMEA from 2008-2010.

Jewel Casselman

Music Specialist, Lakewood School, Winnipeg, MB

Jewel Casselman is the K-5 music specialist at Lakewood School in Winnipeg, MB. Jewel teaches an Orff based program, running Orff and choir groups. Jewel has completed her Post Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on the arts. She teaches the recorder component of the Levels courses through the University of Manitoba and is a regular Orff and Recorder adjudicator with provincial festivals.


Looking for more?

MusiCounts Learn holds national conversations on topics that matter to music educators. Tune in to past Town Hall events and engage with the community of music educators across the country!