Erin Cole Steele

Erin Cole Steele

Request Clinician

Director of Educational Programs and Senior Educational Clinician
Conn-Selmer Division of Education


Erin Cole has had a very successful career as a middle school band director for the past 22 years. She served as the band director at Tapp Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia from 1995-2017. Under her leadership, the Tapp Band honors included being selected to perform at the 58th annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois in December of 2004. The band has been a featured performing group at the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival in 2015, 2008, 2003, and 1999. Additionally, the Flute and Percussion Ensemble have performed at the Georgia Music Educators Conference in Savannah, Georgia. The Tapp Band was also selected for the National Adjudicators Invitational Dixie Classic Festival in 2006 where they received all superior ratings. The Tapp Band continually receives superior ratings each year at the District 12 large group performance evaluation.

Ms. Cole has commissioned four pieces of music for the Tapp Band in the past 12 years. In 1999, Robert W. Smith wrote "The Great Locomotive Chase", in 2002, Frank Ticheli wrote "Simple Gifts - Four Shaker Songs". and in 2004, Samuel R. Hazo composed “Ascend” for the Tapp M.S. Symphonic Band’s performance at The Midwest Clinic. Most recently, Ms. Cole and the Tapp Middle School Band was part of a consortium of directors to commission the Eric Whitacre piece “The Seal Lullaby”.

Erin Cole earned her bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Georgia in 1995. While at the University of Georgia, she played the cello, flute, and piccolo in the University Symphony Orchestra, chamber groups, Symphonic, and Concert Bands, and the Redcoat Marching Band. She has studied cello with Christopher Rex, David Starkweather, and Alice Williams and has studied flute with Ronald Waln and Martha Lynn Volman.

Ms. Cole's professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, Sigma Alpha Iota, National Band Association, and the Georgia Music Educators Association.

Erin has written articles for The Instrumentalist magazine and has been a contributing editor for the publication. She has also served as a clinician for the Music for All Summer Symposium and is currently on the teaching faculty at The Conn Selmer Institute. She has presented several sessions at the Midwest Clinic and many state conventions. In 2007, 2010, and 2014 Erin has written chapters for the popular GIA publication series Teaching Music Through Performance. Ms. Cole is also currently a contributing editor for Hal Leonard’s Essential Elements method book and interactive website team.

Ms. Cole now works as an educational clinician and consultant for Conn-Selmer and the Hal Leonard Corporation. She has been a guest conductor for numerous honor and all-state bands, has taught several years at the "Encore" Music Camp and was the founder and administrator of the Cobb County Summer Band Camp. She was awarded the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence in 2015, 2008 and 2003. She was the middle school band conductor for the Conn-Selmer Youth Band of Atlanta from 2011- 2017. Erin currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband.

Erin worked with my students in Memphis and it was an absolute joy. My students grew so much in a short amount of time, and I couldn't believe she was actually in my band room! I have also enjoyed being able to call on Erin throughout this year for help!

Anneliese Land - Dir. of Bands, Lakeland Middle Prepartory School, Lakeland, TN

Guest Conductor


Invite Erin Cole Steele to conduct an Honor Band, All-State Band, or a rehearsal to engage your students and help your community reach new musical heights.

The Things You Don’t Learn in College


While there are many important teaching fundamentals we do learn in college, there are various roles we take on as a music educator you simply can’t learn in a classroom. Many of the topics in this session teachers learn on the job and through several years of experience.

Building the Bridge


Tips and strategies for increasing retention as students make the move from middle school to high school band. Ideas will be shared on keeping students motivated, getting all directors on the same page for a cohesive program vision, and building a sense of community from the beginning.

Creating a Culture of Success in the Middle School Band Program


This session will address the key components of setting up your program for success. Topics discussed will include: understanding the community you serve, school culture, program culture, classroom management, fundamentals program, literature selection, communication, and many other tools to get your program running like a well-oiled machine!

Hiding the Vegetables: Unique & Creative Ways to Teach Young Band Students Daily Fundamentals


When it comes to teaching young band students, the pacing is key. As directors, we have to find ways to present the material we want students to learn in a way that will keep their attention and interest, and motivate them as well. Come and learn unique and creative ways to feed your young band students the “vegetables” they need every day!

Make Me a Match


Get students set up on the right instrument from the beginning! This session will give helpful tips and the “how-to’s” of the beginning band instrument selection process.

Recruitment and Retention - Get Them and Keep Them!


Tips and strategies for beginning band recruitment as well as increasing retention from middle school to high school band. Ideas will be shared on keeping your students motivated, getting all directors on the same page for a cohesive program vision, and building a sense of community from beginning band through high school band.

Teaching in a Title I School


This presentation will provide useful strategies for teaching in a Title I School. Many of the topics discussed will include school culture, program culture, fundraising, goal setting, relationship building, classroom management, understanding the community in which you teach, as well as various other related topics.