2021-2022 Workshop Presenters

2021-2022 Workshop Presenters

September 18, 2021 : Franklin Willis

For more than a decade, educator, and leader, Franklin Willis has served the students and families of the Metro Nashville Public Schools community. Through music, Willis has educated, mentored, and developed young minds to be forward thinking contributors to society. A servant leader specializing in authentic culturally relevant teaching, empowering student contributions, and developing teachers to reach their full capacity, Willis finds true joy when at the service of others.

As Elementary Music Coach for MNPS, he equips teachers with instructional support and necessary resources to strengthen their professional acumen and enhance their classrooms. This includes shepherding colleagues and teachers through the reality’s students are faced with around equity, inclusion and racism. Through his work, he has developed a passion in the cultivation of musicianship for young minds as every child has musical potential and deserves a music teacher who will see the best in them. Willis believes that music education is a vital tool to teach students about other cultures, create community, and inspire a love for learning. Willis consistently uses his network to provide opportunities for students to utilize their passion for music for all to see. This includes producing music videos and stadium performances at CMA Fest, a four-day music festival in Nashville, TN. ​

Willis has created and facilitated professional development sessions for music teachers of all grade levels sharing his unique and relevant teaching practices. He consistently collaborates with colleagues, community organizations, local businesses, colleges, and universities to advocate for the importance of music education in our schools as well as developing curriculum that will lead to higher engagement from students. Through his work Willis has received national recognition for his commitment to student learning, his passion for the profession and his innovative teaching practices. He is a three-time recipient of the CMA Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence Award. (’16, ’18, ’19). ​

Willis is a children’s book author and graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Music in 2009. In 2012, he earned the Master of Education Degree in Nonprofit Leadership from Belmont University. Most recently Willis completed the Education Specialist Degree with an emphasis in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University. 

Workshop Title:  Hip Hop and Orff: The Remix

Workshop Date/Time:  Saturday, September 18, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Workshop Location:  South Lebanon Elementary School 


October 23, 2021 : Christine Ballenger 

Christine Ballenger currently teaches general music (K-5) outside of Houston, TX. She holds degrees in music education and clarinet performance from the University of New Mexico (M.M.) and the University of Puget Sound (B.M. in Music Education), and received her Orff Schulwerk certification from George Mason University. Christine teaches recorder and movement for the Gwinnett County Schools Orff Course and is a member of the editorial board of The Orff Echo. Additionally, she has taught courses in music for elementary education majors at Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University. Christine has also received training in Kodaly and World Music Drumming, and completed the “International Summer Course” in 2018 at the Orff Institute, in Salzburg, Austria.

Workshop Title:  Keeping it Simple – Do more with less!

Workshop Date/Time:  Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 

Workshop Location:  South Lebanon Elementary School 


February 12, 2022 : Chapter Share 

Workshop Date/Time:  Saturday, February 12, 2022  from 9:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 

Workshop Location:  South Lebanon Elementary School 


March 12, 2022 : Deb Navin 

Deb Navin teaches Elementary Music in the Greater Detroit Metro area. Deb holds a BM in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY and a MS in Elementary Education from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She is certified in Orff-Schulwerk and has training in Music Learning Theory and World Music Drumming. Deb has taught a combined 14 years of Pre-K through 6th grade General, Vocal and Instrumental music in MA, PA, and MI. Deb plays the Piano, Harp, Flute, Guitar, and Handbells. She is a frequent national presenter for music teacher workshops and a board member of the Detroit Orff-Schulwerk Association. She lives with her husband and three children in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Workshop Title: Differentiated Orff: Song, Dance, and Recorders

Workshop Date/Time:  Saturday, March 12, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. 

Workshop Location:  South Lebanon Elementary School