Michelle Swanson is an instructor of Music Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Mrs. Swanson teaches Elementary General Music Methods, Music for Childhood Education, Soundscapes, and also supervises student teachers in elementary general music. She is the faculty advisor for Sigma Alpha Iota. Swanson has taught at UNI for 13 years.
Mrs. Swanson also conducts the UNI Children's Choir. This ensemble is a part of the Community Music School at UNI and is comprised of 90 elementary and middle school students from throughout the Cedar Valley. The auditioned singers pay tuition and the group is self-supporting. UNI Music Education students work with the group to observe and practice many teaching methods and skills. The UNICC performs annual concerts at the end of each spring and fall semester.
The UNICC most recently performed on the 2010 UNI Varsity Mens Glee Club Christmas Variety Shows. The youth ensemble has also performed with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, and the UNI Chamber Orchestra. In April of 2010, the UNICC performed at the Celebrate Singing Festival in Ames, Iowa. Over the last 7 years, they have performed at the Gold Star Teacher ceremony, at the Tsunami Benefit for the Red Cross, at the College Hill Arts Festival, and for the African American Museum of Waterloo. They have also sung for the Iowa Choral Directors fall elementary choral workshop and the Iowa Music Educators Association annual conference in Ames, Iowa.
Swanson enjoys working with music teachers throughout Iowa. She travels to school districts for in-services and consultations regularly. Mrs. Swanson also hosts Orff workshops at UNI three times during each school year.
Swanson received her B.M.E. and M.M. degrees from U.N.I. and is currently finishing her doctorate in education. While an undergraduate student at UNI, Swanson studied piano with Howard Aibel. She participated in Wind Symphony, Orchestra, Concert Chorale, Clarinet Choir, and Percussion Ensemble. Swanson was the accompanist for the Varsity Mens Glee Club from 1989 to 1992, and often accompanied other ensembles and soloists.
Mrs. Swanson studied Orff Schulwerk at the University of St. Thomas under Jane Frazee and Steve Calentropio. Beyond the three levels of certification, Mrs. Swanson completed advanced Orff curriculum, technique, and teaching courses.
Mrs. Swanson taught elementary general music for 20 years. She has directed numerous elementary, middle school, high school and adult choirs. She was awarded a Gold Star Teaching Award in 1996. Mrs. Swanson founded and conducted the Sturgis Falls Children's Choir from 1993 to 2005. She has conducted many elementary and middle level honor choirs throughout Iowa. Mrs. Swanson is also an accomplished accompanist. She plays the piano and sings at Prairie Lakes Church on occasion. Her husband, Chad, is an attorney in Waterloo, and they have two children, Elizabeth (12), and Matthew (8). The entire Swanson family performs music together at events throughout the Cedar Valley.