Episode 12: Women in Music with Erin Keeton-Howard


As in most areas of life, experiences are very different for women in music than they are for men. Luckily, there are some amazing women that are finding ways to inspire and encourage other women. We are so grateful to be joined by one of those inspiring women today! Erin Keeton-Howard is here to talk about her experiences and insights into women in music.

There is so much to cover when it comes to women in music, the progress that has been made, and how far there still is to go. We are chatting with Erin about her accomplishments and the impact she has made for women in music. She is sharing her background as a musician, teacher, and composer, her work for female advocacy in music,  a look into her upcoming book, different experiences she has seen between men and women in music, things teachers can do to encourage their female students, and how she got started composing music. 

Erin Keeton-Howard is a Seattle-based music educator, conductor, and composer who is passionate about bringing people together through music. Erin currently serves as Director of Bands at the Northwest School in Capitol Hill, the Director of the North Seattle symphonic band at North Seattle College and cofounder/Director of formation wind band— Seattle’s all women wind band. 

If you want to perform jazz but don’t have a traditional jazz ensemble, we have just the piece for you! With the Grade One Flex Jazz Band Piece, “Ocean Breezin,’” you can perform jazz without a jazz ensemble!! Don’t have a guitar or piano player? Not a problem! We’ve carefully arranged this piece so you can play it with the your concert band, jazz ensemble, or anything in between!

In this episode we cover:

  • Erin’s background as a musician, teacher, and composer
  • What she has done for female advocacy in music
  • Differences Erin has seen between experiences for men and women in music
  • A glimpse into Erin’s upcoming book
  • Why she thinks there are fewer female composers and conductors than their are male
  • Things teachers can do to reach out and encourage female students in music
  • Erin’s favorite inspirational music leaders
  • How Erin started composing
  • What qualities she thinks are important in a quality piece of educational music

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More about The First Six Notes with Classroom Composers

The First Six Notes Podcast with Classroom Composers is for band teachers and string teachers looking for great information from experienced teachers. 

Every other week, we’ll dive into everything about teaching band and string music students. We’re covering everything from pedagogy to fundraising and interviewing successful music teachers, composers, admin, professional private studio teachers, and more to uncover and share their strategies for musical success. 

Classroom Composers is a married team of two music teachers, Kevin Hoff and Jessica Frank. Between the two of us, we have experience teaching K-6 general music, elementary 4/5 band/strings, and middle school band/strings/guitar who want to share our knowledge and experience with other teachers.

Grab a chair and stand and join the conversation!