BASSIST EDUCATOR CLINICIAN
Bethany grew up in Kokomo, Indiana studying piano, flute, and bass. She earned her undergrad and graduate degrees in Music Education, began teaching music at Noblesville Schools in 2005, and currently serves as the Assistant Band Director and Jazz Band Director at Noblesville High School.
In 2011, Bethany received her first Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, and traveled to New Orleans and New York City, exploring the current trends of jazz in those two cities. She experienced dozens of jazz shows, attended the Band Director Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center, composed her first piece for big band, and came home with a whole new concept of jazz pedagogy at the secondary level. Since her return from this experience, her jazz program has expanded from 1 to 5 high school big bands, and the top band has made three appearances at the ISSMA Indiana Jazz State Finals, an event created in 2016, and in 2021 Noblesville Jazz 1 was named a Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Festival Finalist and placed 2nd at the National Jazz Fest Large School Jazz Ensemble Category.
In 2014, Bethany was named "Indiana Jazz Educator of the Year" by the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation. In 2015, she was named "Teacher of the Year" for Noblesville Schools, the 11th largest public school district in Indiana. In 2016, Bethany was a Semi-Finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year. She is currently a top 10 finalist for the 2022 Grammy Music Educator of the Year.
Bethany currently serves as the North Central Division Representative and Chair-Elect for the National Association for Music Education Jazz Council (NAfME), and President of the Indiana Jazz Educators Association. During her time as IJEA President, she has spearheaded efforts to create the All-District Jazz Program, a Junior All-State Jazz Ensemble, began a guest artist partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and created a partnership between the All-State Jazz Combo and the annual Indy Jazz Fest.
In 2018, Bethany was a part of the inaugural Indiana Jazz Girls Day, traveling around the state playing bass at concerts and workshops with New York City Musicians Leni Stern, Jamie Baum, and Indiana-based Monika Herzig. She continues to travel with this group annually in the spring, playing bass and serving as a clinician at workshops around the state of Indiana, inspiring young jazz musicians to be leaders on the bandstand.
Bethany received her second Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, and spent the summer of 2019 exploring the Brazilian cities of Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, taking in the sounds of chorro, Bossa nova, and samba. Exploring her mother's childhood home, creating music for her students, and collaborating with local Brazilian musicians was the gift of a lifetime.
Bethany has been a featured presenter for music education students at Ball State University, Butler University, for community members at the Center for Performing Arts/Palladium (Carmel, Indiana) monthly luncheon, and has adjudicated several jazz events, including the Western Australian Schools' Jazz Festival. In September 2021, Bethany was a keynote speaker for the Australia National Band and Orchestra Conference, speaking on topics like building jazz culture, teaching jazz for those new to jazz, and building leaders through the Jazz Girls Day Event.
Bethany spends her time outside the classroom playing bass in several groups in central Indiana including legendary vocalist Everett Greene, Irish singer-songwriter Katherine Nagy, Indianapolis singer-songwriter Sarah Scharbrough, who's album they just recorded and released in 2019. She also plays in event bands and big bands, enjoying a wide-variety of musical genres.
AUSTRALIA NATIONAL BAND CONFERENCE
Perth, Western Australia
An Evening with Everett Greene
w/ Kenny Phelps, Scott Routenberg, Bethany Robinson
Hotel Carmichael, Feinstein Room
KATHERINE NAGY TRIO
Center Stage Guitars
BLUE DOOR JAZZ
Mavris, Private Event
DEC 10, 11, 12
JAZZ KITCHEN, 6 shows
w/ Sarah Scharbrough
IMEA STATE MUSIC CONFERENCE
Fort Wayne, IN
Bassist on REVERIE
artist: Sarah Scharbrough
Monika Herzig's Sheroes-Video
Blue Door Jazz
Director's Jazz Orchestra
JoySwing Jazz Orchestra
Nickel Plate Jazz Orchestra
(Jazz Legend/Civil Rights Leader Dr. Marvin Chandler)
(Women In Jazz, Indiana Girls Day)
Music for your event-
Jazz combos, jazz duos, instrumental, vocals, and a variety of requested genres comprised of the top musicians in Indianapolis can play for your event!
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04 jazz education
Whether teaching one of her school's 5 big bands, or serving on state or national jazz organization boards, Bethany has a passion for jazz education. She spends her time working with and bringing professionals in to work with her students, sharing the stories of her classroom with the community, and lending resources to anyone interested in having a higher comfort level in front of a jazz band. She has developed an extensive warm-up package including engaging students in singing, dancing, long-tones, different scale modes, tuning, quoting blues vocabulary, and a variety of options integrating improvisation into the first part of each rehearsal.
In addition to her own classroom, Bethany has enjoyed partnering with Monika Herzig to organize the annual Indiana Jazz Girls Day, a series of free concerts and clinics for girls grades 7-12 around the state with other guest musicians from Indiana, New York City, and California.
Bethany is a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellow, and has the distinguished honor of earning 2 coveted grants. Her grants took her to New York City & New Orleans in 2011, and to Salvador & Rio de Janeiro in 2019. The experiences during both grants have transformed and propelled her teaching with new approaches, genres, techniques, and even renewed love for the craft of teaching.
As a result of her 2011 New York City grant, Bethany discovered the Band Director Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where she discovered a new world of jazz pedagogy, and returned to Noblesville High School to build a jazz band from 1 to 5 bands, and has consistently taken her top jazz band to Indiana State Finals, and is a 2021 Essentially Ellington Festival Finalist, a prestigious honor only 2 previous Indiana schools have achieved.
Bethany is looking forward to sharing her stories and teaching techniques at the Indiana MEA Conference in Fort Wayne, IN, in January, and the Australian National Band and Orchestra Conference in Perth, Western Australia, in September 2021.