The BW Community Arts School offers a wide array of instrumental and vocal music educational opportunities. From private lessons to classes to ensembles, there are opportunities for all ages and all abilities. Leveraging the facilities and resources of Baldwin Wallace's renown Conservatory of Music, CAS students are able to take advantage of many opportunities unique to the campus. In addition to these immersive experiences, educators, conductors and artists can find ways to engage in our professional development opportunities.
Music Department Faculty
Jennifer Andersen-Germaine is an accomplished flutist although the piccolo is her main instrument. She has studied under Mary Kay Fink, William Hebert, George Pope, and Randy Hester. Jennifer has been an Adjunct Professor of flute for the Baldwin Wallace University Community Arts School since 2001. An active musician, Jennifer is a member of the Ekklesia Ensemble and the Cleveland Winds. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Baldwin Wallace and a Master of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Akron.
Prof. Lorelei Batislaong joins the faculty at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music as an Associate Professor of General Music Education and BW Community Arts School as ‘Ukulele Instructor. For the last five years, she taught undergraduates at The University of Texas at Austin and previous to that taught elementary music in San Antonio and Austin for 14 years. She received a BM in Music Education from Southwest Texas State University, an MM in Instrumental Conducting from Texas State University, and will soon receive a PhD in Music and Human Learning from The University of Texas at Austin.
Batislaong has served on the National Board of Trustees and chaired the Diversity and Equity subcommittee of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association and is the State Director of the Texas affiliate of the National Association for Music Education. She currently serves as the Deputy Director and lead editor of Decolonizing the Music Room, a non-profit organization working to amplify the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian people in the field of music education.
Batislaong combines her passion as a veteran teacher and enthusiasm for research by presenting national and international workshops to both practitioners and researchers alike. She is the co-author of the book, “Elemental ‘Ukulele: Pathways and Possibilities” which presents effective teaching and inclusive practices and activities for practitioners who teach young students in a classroom setting. Her research interests include: Teacher noticing and cognition through eye tracking and gaze analysis, teacher skill acquisition and development, equity in the classroom and teaching profession, and generally wondering why everything is the way it is and how it could be better.
Frank Bianchi is an adjunct professor of music at the BW Conservatory of Music and is the founding director of the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus. BW Men’s Chorus has been recognized as being among the finest collegiate male choruses in the state and one of the first collegiate choruses of its kind to include distinguished community musicians as well as college students, faculty, and staff. Bianchi has held several offices in both the Ohio Choral Directors Association and the Ohio Music Education Association and is a past recipient of the Outstanding Music Educator of the Year Award given annually by the State of Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA). He has received outstanding teaching and distinguished service awards in both Brunswick and Medina City Schools and was recently inducted into the hall of fame at John Marshall High School (Cleveland, Ohio), where he attended high school. He is an active member of OMEA, the American Choral Director Association, and the National Association of Music Educators.
Violinist/violist Leslie Braidech is a graduate of The Ohio State University (B.M. in violin performance with Michael Davis) and New England Conservatory (M.M. in violin performance with Dorothy DeLay & Masuko Ushioda) with additional studies toward her M.M. in viola performance with Arthur Klima (Cleveland State University). She has performed with numerous professional ensembles throughout the United States & overseas, including the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Playhouse Square ensembles, The Cleveland Opera & Cleveland Ballet Orchestras, Central Ohio Symphony, Boston Opera Orchestra & The Portland Symphony. Ms. Braidech has served on the faculties of The Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin Wallace Community Arts School, Cleveland School of the Arts & other public school orchestra programs. After spending nearly a decade in the Columbus area, she is happy to be back in the Cleveland area and returning to BW as a Community Arts School faculty member, both as a private lesson instructor and as a coach/instructor with the New Horizons Orchestra. Ms. Braidech also serves on the music faculty of Troy Intermediate School in the Avon Lake City Schools.
Meghan Colbert is a clarinetist in the Cleveland area. She works with students of all ages and levels. Meghan obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from Baldwin Wallace University where she studied with assistant principal clarinetist and Eb clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Daniel McKelway. She received her Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts where she studied with assistant principal clarinetist and Eb clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, John Bruce Yeh. Meghan has performed with chamber groups in both the Cleveland and Chicago area.
Julie Melik-Stepanov has taught piano very successfully for over 40+ years. Her students repeatedly win top honors at state and regional competitions including MTNA, American Music Club, J. Earl Lee, Genevieve Truran and others. Her piano students attend Julliard and Eastman Schools of Music and other very prestigious universities’. Mrs. Melik-Stepanov teaches music for all levels including all works of concert pianists’ repertoire.
Mrs. Melik-Stepanov performs frequently as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra and in collaboration with other artists.
Prior to teaching and playing in America, she was serving on the faculty of the Special School of Music for the gifted young musicians in Moscow and Baku and also was a Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Activities at the National College of Ballet and Dance.
Mrs. Melik-Stepanov holds a Master’s Degree and an Artist’s Diploma in Piano Performance from Azerbaijan National Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Karren Melik-Stepanov
Dr. Karren Melik-Stepanov was serving on the faculty of Augustana University for 27 years where he taught Applied Cello, Chamber Music, and String Pedagogy Class. His cello students have been prizewinners at many competitions. Prior to coming to America, Dr. Melik-Stepanov served as a Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the Azerbaijan National Conservatory of Music. Many of his former students are now pursuing very successful musical careers in the USA, Europe, Russia, Baltic, and Caucasians Countries.
Dr. Melik-Stepanov teaches music for all levels including all works of concert cellists’ repertoire. He has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician throughout America, Europe, and Russia. He also performs all major works written for his instrument.
Dr. Melik-Stepanov earned his Master’s Degree and an Artist’s Diploma in Cello Performance from the Azerbaijan National Conservatory of Music and his Doctorate Degree in Cello Performance and Chamber Music from the Armenian Conservatory of Music. He counts one of the most renowned world cellists, Mstislav Rostropovich, as his principal cello teacher. In addition to his solo and teaching careers, Dr. Melik-Stepanov was serving as a principal cellist for several major orchestras.
Music classes are a great way to introduce musical concepts to students in a group setting. Our music classes and programs for early learners from infants through elementary school are designed and taught by expert faculty who understand child development and musical growth. Typical class offerings include MusicPlay, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and Rhythmic Solfege.
Students may enroll in private lessons to receive one-on-one instruction and coaching from a Community Arts School faculty member. Lessons are offered at many times during the week with most of them occurring in the weekday afternoons, weekday evenings and weekends. Students typically enroll in lessons that meet once a week for a half-hour for the full semester. The Community Arts School offers a rolling admission where students may enroll at any time during the semester.
Private lessons allow each student to develop independently through the careful guidance and mentorship of expert, credentialed faculty.
Summer Arts Programs
In partnership with the Baldwin Wallace University School of Education, the BW Community Arts School offers professional development opportunities for certified educators and teaching artists. With the University campus only being minutes from the airport and with modern on-campus living arrangements, participants around the world seek out opportunities to come to BW in the summer to learn from highly credentialed faculty. The portfolio of offerings is typically made available in January.