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Dr. Ellis, an inaugural University of Michigan Engaged Pedagogy Initiative Fellow, is a dedicated harp teacher committed to tailoring lessons to fit the needs of her individual students. She helps students build a strong technical foundation alongside musical flexibility and a historical understanding of the harp repertoire. Dr. Ellis emphasizes ergonomic harp playing as developed through her training with Deb Vogel (Somatics). When working with college students, Dr. Ellis builds in the entrepreneurship and business training needed to thrive as a 21st century musician into her harp curriculum and has designed workshops on music freelancing for undergraduates. She has experience working with students with learning differences and (dis)abilities and works with all ages, from young children to college students to senior citizens, and specializes in inclusive teaching practices.
Her commitment to excellence in teaching has led her to help train other teachers, including leading practice teaching facilitations at University of Michigan Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) orientations and introducing a eurhythmics pedagogy curriculum in the eurhythmics program she started in Ann Arbor. She has also helped to train other music teachers in how to use eurhythmics in their teaching through workshops for ASTA San Francisco Bay Chapter and NafME at the University of Michigan and University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Dr. Ellis is on the preparatory and adult extension faculties at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She also maintains a private teaching studio, is available for lessons over Skype, and teaches for Harps Etc. In addition to giving masterclasses at institutions including the Interlochen Arts Academy, Williams College, University of Arizona, and Michigan State University, Dr. Ellis taught as a guest teacher for Harps Etc. in California, where she had thirty weekly students, in 2010, and has twice returned as a guest instructor where she has also coached the harp ensemble. She has since joined the faculty as a permanent member of the Harps Etc. team. While at the University of Michigan, Dr. Ellis earned a CRLT Graduate Teacher Certificate and trained in the Preparing Future Faculty Seminar program. She has also taught harp for the University of Michigan MPulse Institute, Avon School of Music, Oberlin Secondary Instrument Program, and the Cleveland School for the Arts and taught harp and music theory for Young Artist’s Harp Seminar in Georgia. She taught eurhythmics as a teaching assistant at the Cleveland Institute of Music and taught twelve semester-long eurhythmics workshops for University of Michigan undergraduate and graduate music students spanning five course levels.
Dr. Ellis is a member of the American Harp Society (AHS), the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the Dalcroze Society of America, American Eurhythmics Society, and the College Music Society (CMS).