Director of Music Education
Dr. Tamara T. Thies is an Assistant Professor of Music Education in the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. In her music education courses, Thies guides students through relevant skills and dispositions required to teach music while offering numerous opportunities for student voice, creativity, and collaboration. In addition to teaching courses in music education and supervising student teachers, she currently serves as the Technology Representative for the California Music Education Association as well as the supervises BCCM’s student chapter of the National Association for Music Education.
A National Board Certified Teacher, Thies taught high school band (11 years) and junior high school band (4 years) in Iowa and south Georgia public schools. During this time, she was invited to join the Iowa Comprehensive Musicianship Project due to her creative teaching style and her ensembles successes. This led to assisting with the writing of the Iowa Core Curriculum and serving as the editor for the Iowa Music Educator as well as board member for the Iowa Jazz Championships.
Her research interests encompass music teaching and learning with a particular focus on creative music-making and innovation using formal and informal learning processes, student-informed pedagogies, and interdisciplinary approaches. Often these areas cross-pollinate and open a learning environment that breeds support, cultural diversity, acceptance, relevance, and collaboration. Thies continues to present professional workshops, sessions, and research at state, national, and international conferences including Instrumental Music Teacher Educators, New Directions in Music Education, Research in Music Education, and the International Society for Music Education.
Thies earned a PhD in Music Education from The University of Iowa, Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Northern Iowa, and a conducting diploma with honors from the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Prior to her current appointment, she served as a Lecturer in Music at The University of Vermont, Head of Music Education at Illinois Wesleyan University, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education at Indiana University.