Having taught every grade from kindergarten to, oh, 16th or 17th grade and beyond, my experiences have taught me that there is no better feeling than when you find that “missing link” that helps you put all the mental puzzle pieces together. I’ve seen it from both the student side and the teacher side.
I am so excited to work with you!
I know what it feels like to lose chair challenges and sit at the end of the section.
I know what it feels like to play your best and not get accepted into band clinics and honor bands.
But I also know what it feels like when you start figuring things out, you start learning faster and faster, and suddenly you ARE winning chair challenges and getting into All-State.
How do I know?
Because my teacher helped me figure it out.
Let’s figure it out together for you!
How did it happen for me?
I took piano lessons from the time I was about 8 years old, and when I was in 6th grade, I started in beginning band on flute. When I went to middle school in the 7th grade, I usually sat 2nd or 3rd chair. Not too bad, but I was never quite good enough to win that chair challenge to get 1st chair. I auditioned for Northern Kentucky Select Band and wasn’t accepted.
When I got to Dixie Heights HS (go Colonels!), the rubber really kind of hit the road for me. I went from 2nd or 3rd chair to somewhere in the middle of the second flute section. I auditioned for Northern Kentucky Select Band and was close to last chair. I auditioned for Morehead State University Band Clinic. I wasn’t accepted. (Noticing a pattern here?) My mother signed me up for flute lessons at our local music store. My teacher picked up on all the things that I wasn’t doing quite right and we fixed them. Even braces weren’t a problem! By the time I finished my sophomore year, I was second chair in band, I got accepted to Morehead Band Clinic, and made it to All-State. By the time I graduated, I had been to All-State three times, sat 1st chair for Northern Kentucky Select Band, and couldn’t wait to major in music at the University of Kentucky. Where the band uniform also involved colonel-style uniforms with Aussie hats for some reason.
I started my music education degree at UK, and I was really fascinated by my educational psychology classes and learning how the brain works. I learned how, if you are having trouble at one point in learning something, it’s possible to trace back to the source of the problem and make things easier to learn. This helped A LOT when I was teaching elementary school music and middle/high school band, and especially church choir, of all places!
(See? Colonel uniforms.
No idea why.)
This is Jessica. She now teaches orchestra
in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
After I finished my doctorate in music theory at Indiana University, I ended up at Luther College, which is a small liberal arts college in northeast Iowa. I got to do two of my favorite things while I was there – teach and play flute! The flute professor at Luther, Carol Hester, was very lovely and supportive of me playing and I was lucky to be an “unofficial” member of her studio.
This is Lauren. She is now working on a dual
music librarianship-musicology master's
degree in the Milwaukee area.
I have gotten to do a little of everything and teach a little bit of all age groups and ability levels. But here are the things that I have learned and that I passionately believe:
· ALL students can learn and thrive when they are exposed to a variety of materials and experiences.
· Playing the flute or any other instrument isn’t just playing the instrument itself, but applying knowledge of music theory, music history, performance skills, and careful listening, among other things.
· If we expect students to do their very best work and achieve great things, they often do!
· There is a big difference between being a flute player and a true musician! We should all strive to be the second one, even if that’s not our career goal.
Find out below!
Dr. Amy Lynne Kennedy is a flutist and music theorist originally from the northern Kentucky/greater Cincinnati area. She began studying flute at Bromley Elementary School with Brenda Janning. She continued in band at Turkey Foot Middle School in Edgewood, KY, and graduated in 1988 from Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood. She studied flute with Patti Seaman-Novak at Wert Music in Edgewood. Amy began teaching private flute and piano during this time in her life and has continued ever since.
Dr. Kennedy received her Bachelor of Music Education degree ("with high distinction") from the University of Kentucky in 1993, where she studied flute with Gordon Cole. While at UK, she participated in marching band, concert band, Symphonic Winds, and the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, where she was principal flute from 1991-1993. As a music education major, she majored in both flute and voice (she studied voice with Dr. Everett McCorvey), and gave senior recitals in both areas. She served as president of the UK chapter of CMENC (the Collegiate chapter of Music Educators National Conference, now known as NAfME [National Association for Music Education]), as well as member and president of the UK chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity for women. She is also a member of Tau Beta Sigma, a sorority for women in band, as well as Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary and Phi Beta Kappa. She also studied flute during this period with Rebecca Tryon (Magg) Andres.
Dr. Kennedy taught in the McLean County Public Schools (KY) from 1993-1996, where she taught K-6 general music and 7th grade beginning band, and assisted head band director Stephen Riggs with the 8th grade band. She also assisted at the high school level, where she was in charge of coaching woodwinds and teaching colorguard, winterguard, and drill team. From 1996-1998 she taught K-6 general music in the Owensboro Catholic Schools. During these years she taught private flute, piano, and voice lessons. She studied voice privately with Dr. Robert McIver at Kentucky Wesleyan College (now of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY). She gave a number of recitals to benefit members of the community and for local charitable causes, including "Street Relief," a program which emphasized awareness of homelessness in the Green River region of western Kentucky.
In 1998, Dr. Kennedy returned to the University of Kentucky, where she had originally intended to obtain a masters degree in voice, but missed flute so much, she auditioned and was accepted into a masters program in flute, once again studying with Gordon Cole. She achieved a master of music degree (MM) in flute performance and a master of arts (MA) in music theory, where her primary teachers were Dr. Kate Covington (specialty in music theory pedagogy) and Dr. Charles Lord. Amy gained additional experience playing with the UK Orchestra, as well as teaching privately and serving as the choir director at Lafayette Christian Church in Lexington.
In 2001 Amy began her doctoral studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She was a "Super-AI" (Associate Instructor/Teaching Assistant in a supervising role) for ear training and written theory courses, and studied flute with Professor Thomas Robertello during her coursework. After completing coursework in 2004, she served as Adjunct Instructor of Music at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she taught courses in written theory, ear training, and music theory for non-music majors. She was awarded the PhD in music theory, with graduate minors in music history & literature and music information technology, in 2010.
In 2007 Amy relocated to Decorah, Iowa and served as Assistant Professor of Music at Luther College until 2020. At Luther she taught a variety of courses, including all levels of music theory, as well as music history, and courses in rock music theory. She also taught courses in music theory and its intersection with women's and gender studies. Amy continued to play flute at Luther, assisting Professor Dr. Carol Hester on several faculty recitals, and playing three faculty recitals of her own. "The French Connection" (2015) focused on works by mid-20th century French composers; "A Night at the Opera" (2017) presented themes and variations on operatic themes; "Nevertheless, We Persist!" (2019) featured works by modern female composers Katherine Hoover, Valerie Coleman, Clare Strong, and Nicole Chamberlain. While in Decorah she was also proud to serve as the choir director at First United Methodist Church, and co-principal flute with the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra.
In 2020, Amy decided to follow her heart and return home to northern Kentucky and do what she loves most: teaching flute and playing flute. She is eager to share her skills with students and give them a musical education that centers on flute, but also incorporates all of the other fields she has worked with, including performance studies, music theory, and music history.