Elizabeth Allison

Associate Professor

"I think I work in the best department in the college, because not only do I get to make music, I also get to help the next generation of teachers help people make music."

"One of the courses I teach is a course that I devised, entitled Music, the Brain, and Learning. I've always been interested in the way my own children and my students learn, specifically when music is involved. It fascinates me how everybody learns so differently; how we can end up with similar results, and arrive there through so many different routes."

"My background in performance is in voice, specifically in folk and jazz. I went to a very small high school in Connecticut, and there weren't many opportunities to perform. It was the late '60s, and folk music was very popular, and my voice lent itself to that genre. I had the opportunity to audition for a performance job at Old Sturbridge Village, which is a living history museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. I worked there both in a solo capacity and performing in small ensemble groups. I did recordings of early American folk music, specifically ladies' parlor ballads."

"The more I worked in that genre, the more interested I became in how women work in music and how folk music is such a powerful influence in so many women's lives. It was a way for women to express themselves, and it became a way for me to express myself, as well, and to sing, which is important to me."

"I also spent a year in Sri Lanka when I first got out of college and got very interested in multicultural music. I did some lessons in dancing and drumming, and singing in Sinhalese, which is a difficult language. I think anytime you have an opportunity to learn a type of music that is off the beaten track—it's not contemporary pop, it's not classical music—it helps. It helps me to think outside the box and helps me to help my students to think in different ways."

 

 

Career Highlights

 

  • B.S., University of Connecticut
  • M.A., University of Connecticut
  • C.A.G.S., Fitchburg State College 
  • Former K–12 music educator, choral director, and coordinator of performing arts
  • Active clinician and adjudicator
  • Active in leadership roles in MENC and Massachusetts Music Educators' Association
  • Recipient of Ed Kelley Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dedham Public Schools; Excellence in General Music Award, Society for General Music in Massachusetts; and Lowell Mason Award, Massachusetts Music Educators Association
  • Performed at the Smithsonian Institution, Old Sturbridge Village, and in Sri Lanka, India, and Great Britain
  • Published in various music education journals