Dr. Susan Mills is the Coordinator of Music Education at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Her traditional music involvement started with high school folk dance activities. She has played bass and piano for folk dance groups and at commercial country and bluegrass venues in Florida and has taught music at the elementary and middle school level.
Susan's Fellowship work at Berea, June - July 2007, focused on the development of teaching resources for elementary and middle school music classes that meet state and national music education standards.
The resources she developed are derived mainly from singing games, games without music, dances, folk songs, ballads and tales documented in audio and manuscript materials in Berea's Leonard Roberts Collection which documents many aspects of eastern Kentucky folklife.
The teaching resources Susan developed are available through a website, journal publications, classroom lecture/demonstrations, and music education in-service workshops. The website is available through the Appalachian State University's Hayes School of Music.
Opportunities for teaching the featured songs, dances, and games beyond college classes have included presentations at such venues as the Appalachian Festival at Frostburg State University. An article on family traditions of traditional music and its use in elementary music classes is forthcoming in a 2008 issue of General Music Today. Another article, "Tracing the Footsteps of a Folklorist" will appear in The Mountain Lake Reader Spring 2008 issue.
Professional association presentations are in the works for the Cultural Diversity in Music Education (CDIME) conference in Seattle, March, 2008 and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (motion and music) in Charlotte, NC, November, 2008.