Mission Statement

Leading Notes, founded in December 2010, is a new music education magazine that seeks to maintain an online space for discussion about the intersection of philosophy and practice. It attempts to supplement the already well-established online music education community by providing a platform for persons associated with the field to share their thoughts about teaching music in the 21st century. Our hope is that through making this content available, discussions about important topics in music education can be better facilitated. We are interested in keeping an open mind and are open to receiving submissions from students of all ages, current and retired professors, composers, performers, and anyone in between.


Justine Dolorfino is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, where she earned her Ed.M., and Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she obtained a dual degree in music and psychology and completed her senior thesis on a psychosocial approach to teaching extracurricular music. She has taught at the middle school level at Heritage E-STEM Middle School in West St. Paul, Minnesota. She also has applied music experience in her own studio and as a teacher with TakeLessons.com and School of Rock. Besides teaching music, she also has a strong interest in social media and works as a social media coordinator for Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy and Streamified.

Academic interests:
Justine is particularly interested in topics pertaining to orchestra, jazz band, private teaching, popular music integration, social justice in the classroom, gender issues in music education, and a student-centered approach to teaching.

Ways to get in touch:
Contact her at justine@leadingnotes.org.
Justine currently blogs at blog.justine-dolorfino.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @justine_robin.

Nick Jaworski is a graduate student in music education and communication at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois. In addition to teaching introductory music education technology classes at the university, he serves as the Vice-President of Secondary General Music-Elect for the Illinois Music Educators Association. Previous to graduate school, Nick taught band, music appreciation, and rock & roll methods at Winnebago High School, in Winnebago, IL.

Academic interests:
Nick’s interests include (but are not limited to) personal creativity; the expansion of music curricula into popular genres; discussions of identity, self, and community; secondary general music offerings; percussion methods; concert band; teacher education; and “music education” as an institution.

Ways to get in touch:
Contact him at nick@leadingnotes.org.
Nick currently blogs at teachingmusic.tumblr.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @JaworskiMusic.

Associate Editors

Caitlin McGovern teaches band, music theory, guitar and general music at Pleasant Plains High School and Middle School in Pleasant Plains, IL. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For more information about Ms. McGovern and her teaching, visit her website at caitlinmcgovern.com.

Academic interests: Caitlin has interests in several different areas which include teaching music through large ensembles (particularly band and jazz band), the development of creativity-focused secondary general music curricula, and music teacher education and early field experience.

Ways to get in touch:
Contact her at caitlin@leadingnotes.org.
Caitlin currently blogs at whatmattersinmusiced.blogspot.com.

Emmett O’Leary is a Ph.D student in music education at Arizona State University. Prior to starting his graduate studies, he served as an assistant band director at the University of Notre Dame where he co-directed several concert bands, worked extensively with “The Band of the Fighthing Irish”, Notre Dame’s 400-member marching band, taught courses in instrumental conducting and brass techniques, and directed the tuba-euphonium and horn ensembles. Prior to his appointment at Notre Dame, Emmett served as a high school band director in the Meridian (ID) and Lake Havasu City (AZ) school districts. Emmett holds a degree in music education from the University of Idaho, a master’s degree in music from Washington State University, and a master’s degree in music technology from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He also serves as a co-host and editor of the music education podcast, Music Ed Resource.

Academic interests: Emmett’s interests include teacher education, large ensemble instruction (particularly through marching and concert bands), professional development, conducting, music technology, and non-traditional instruction methods using hybrid and online learning environments.

Ways to get in touch:
Contact him at emmett@leadingnotes.org.
He writes and podcasts at musicedresource.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @emmettoleary.