Dr. Beth A. Bauer, NCTM

Dr. Beth A. Bauer received her doctorate of music education from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.  Her dissertation is titled “What is an appropriate approach to piano instruction for students with Down syndrome?”  Additional degree work includes a Master of Music from Northern Illinois University where she studied with Bill Koehler, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Daniel P. Horn.  Additional pedagogy instruction occurred with Karin Edwards, Larry Rast, and Karen Taylor.  Currently, she is an instructor in pedagogy at the Wheaton College Conservatory where she teaches Introduction to Pedagogy, Studio Administration, Group Instruction, and Music to Special Learners and oversees pedagogy student teachers and music internships.  She is also the academic advisor for the pedagogy degree.  In addition to her faculty work in the Conservatory, Dr. Bauer is the founder and coordinator of Beethoven’s Buddies, a music program for students with developmental and intellectual delays, at the Community School of the Arts, Wheaton College and teaches precollege piano to beginning through advanced students in the Community School of the Arts. 

Prior to her work at Wheaton College, Dr. Bauer was a visiting guest instructor in music education at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.  She also was the assistant to the director and an instructor in the Young Pianists Program at Indiana University.  Additional positions included the Education Director at the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Program Director at the Suzuki-Orff School for Young Musicians in Chicago.  

Her work with students with special needs has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, the Indiana University Alumni Magazine, and the Wheaton College Alumni Magazine.  Publications include articles in Clavier Companion entitled,” Ten Characteristics for teaching students with special needs,” the Philosophy of Music Education Review, and the Manitoba Registered Teachers’ Association.  She co-chairs the Special Education Research Committee for the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy.  Dr. Bauer is a sought after clinician and speaker to professional teacher’s organizations, national conferences, and parent groups.  She has been teaching piano for over 25-years and working with students with special needs for 20-years.

About Beethoven’s Buddies

Beethoven’s Buddies (BB) is an innovative music program which facilitates cognitive and emotional growth for students with developmental delays.  BB uses integrated materials and assistive technology (such as the iPad) in private lessons.  Need-specific resources may include Boardmaker, appropriate music apps, and video models for weekly home practice.  BB students have participated in National Guild competitions, both the MTNA  and NCKP conferences, and music programs at schools at churches.  The program includes both private piano lessons and chimes class.  Students perform in yearly recitals and program related performances.

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In addition, The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy will include workshop offerings on teaching students with special needs. The next conference is scheduled for July 26-29, 2017 in Lombard, IL (a suburb of Chicago). Information is available at