Dr. Alice M. Hammel, a leader in the field of students with special needs and music,
currently teaches for James Madison, Virginia Commonwealth, and Christopher
Newport universities, as well as the St. Andrew’s School. Her background in the field of music education is extensive. In addition to her university level teaching, Dr. Hammel also has many years of experience teaching both instrumental and choral music at the elementary and middle school levels in public and private schools. Dr. Hammel holds a D.M.A. degree in music education from Shenandoah University, an M.M. in music education from Florida State University and a B.M.E. (magna cum laude) from Shenandoah Conservatory. She has also earned her Level III Kodály Certification from James Madison University.
Pursuing a lifelong interest in the needs of students with special needs, Dr. Hammel has presented her research at more than 50 state and national conferences. Her research focus is the adaptation of methods and materials for students with special needs, learning styles, and teacher education and preparation. Articles based on her research have been published by the Music Educators Journal, UPDATE: The Applications of Research in Music Education, The Journal for Music Teacher Education, University Affiliated Programs in Developmental Disabilities, The American Music Teacher, The Keyboard Companion, Massachusetts Music News, Bulletin of the Council for Music Education, and Virginia Music Educators Association – Notes. She is a contributing author to two resources available through MENC – Spotlight on Teaching Special Learners and Readings in Diversity, Inclusion, and Music for All. A new text and online resource, Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-free Approach, co-authored with Dr. Ryan Hourigan, is available through Oxford University Press. They are currently writing a new book with a focus on teaching students with autism in the music classroom. She is very active as an in-service provider and guest teacher for school systems and universities throughout the United States. Dr. Hammel is the Students with Special Needs Chair for the Virginia Music Educators Association.
Dr. Hammel is also active as a professional flutist and maintains an independent flute studio. She has participated in numerous national panel presentations regarding woodwind pedagogy techniques and learning styles. She is a nationally-known adjudicator and clinician for solo wind, band, orchestra, and choral competitions, and frequently conducts master classes and presents lectures throughout the United States. Dr. Hammel was the wind representative to the Pedagogy Board of the Music Teachers National Association for four years and was the chair of single-line sight reading for the Virginia Music Teachers Association for 10 years. She can be heard as a flutist on two compact discs of music composed by Allan Blank (published by Arizona State Recordings and Centaur Recordings).
A frequent keynote speaker, Dr. Hammel is also a multiple recipient of awards honoring her commitment to music education and the inclusion of all students in music classrooms. She has served as an MENC Online Networking Mentor and is a National Spokesperson for MENC. Dr. Hammel is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, Music Teachers National Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Organization of Kodály Educators, Sigma Alpha Iota, and The Council for Exceptional Children. She is married to Dr. Bruce Hammel. They have two daughters, Hannah and Hollie.