Dr. Jenny L. Neff

Dr. Jenny L. Neff

Associate Professor of Music Education
The University of the Arts


Jenny L. Neff, Ed.D. is Associate Professor and Division Chair of Music Education at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is also the Director of the Master of Music and Summer Music Studies programs. Prior to joining the UArts faculty, she taught instrumental music at Bala Cynwyd Middle School in the Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania. She completed 25 years of public school teaching, with experience teaching music (primarily bands and orchestras) at all levels in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Neff was part of the band writing team for NAfME’s Teaching With Primary Sources Project with the Library of Congress, published in August 2018. She serves as the Eastern Division Representative for NAfME’s Council for Band and previously served in roles of advocacy and professional development for PMEA. She is part of the PMEA mentor teacher program and serves as a trainer for their online Model Curriculum Framework tool, and serves as the Pennsylvania representative for Women Band Directors International.

Dr. Neff has presented sessions for music educators in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Delaware, as well as at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, on a variety of topics, including: music standards, curriculum, advocacy, instructional strategies, engaging students, embracing change, building community, and teacher evaluation.

Dr. Neff’s doctoral research study on teacher evaluation was published in the peer-reviewed Pennsylvania Educational Leadership Journal. She has written articles for the PMEA State Journal, and blog posts for NAfME, Band Directors Talk Shop, Zeswitz Music, and J.W. Pepper. She has also been interviewed for the Everything Band podcast.

She conducted the Concert Band at New England Music Camp for four summers and has been a guest conductor and clinician in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Previously, she toured Europe for five summers with high school musicians as Symphonic Band Director and String Ensemble Director for American Music Abroad.

Dr. Neff received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Immaculata University. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Education from Michigan State University where she studied horn with Douglas Campbell and Neill Saunders and played under the batons of Eugene Corporon, Kenneth Bloomquist, and Leon Gregorian in MSU's top bands and orchestras. Additional information can be found on her website: www.JennysCreativeEDge.com.

  Session Titles

Engaging the Instrumental Ensemble


Practical examples on how to engage secondary instrumental music students in deeper content connections will be presented. Participants will leave the session with instructional strategies to add to their teaching toolbox. Connections will be made to teacher evaluation and the National Core Music Standards. Participants will engage in purposeful activities/discussion throughout the presentation in order to put theory into practice.

Lost in Translation: Articulating a common language


This interactive session will help teachers translate components from the Danielson Framework for Teaching (Classroom Environment & Instructional Strategies) into meaningful activities to use in instrumental music rehearsals/classes. Participants will also discuss how to effectively communicate these ideas to administrators and colleagues.

No Teacher is an Island: Tools for survival in today's climate


This session will share insights into maintaining a positive department culture, understanding others, uniting with colleagues to face adversity, building consensus, and working toward department advocacy. Research on the use of types of power, dealing with difficult people, and overcoming adversity will be woven into engaging activities for participants.

Practical Ways to Use the National Music Standards in Band


This session will open with a brief review of the National Music Standards, followed by practical ways the standards can be used in the band classroom. The focus of the sample lessons will be on intermediate level band using the artistic process of responding. Participants will leave with new ways to use the standards in band, that lead students to a deeper understanding of the content and new pathways to meaningful music making.

Unpacking the National Music Standards


This interactive session will include and overview of the National Music Standards, how they evolved, what they mean, and how to start using them in the music classroom. Participants will engage in interactive conversations and activities that will help them understand and apply the standards to their classroom. Participants will also look at additional resources that can help them develop lessons and department action plans moving forward.