Reese, grad student present LGBTQ research at national conference


Christina Carissimo

FREDONIA – State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music Associate Professor Jill Reese and graduate student Christina Carissimo presented their study, “LGBTQ Music Educators’ Experiences in a Professional Development Community,” at the 2021 National Music Research and

Dr. Jill Reese

Teacher Education Conference for the National Association for Music Education in February.

Their study focused on the experiences of gay choral/vocal music educators in New York state who participated in a year-long professional development community facilitated by Dr. Reese and Ms. Carissimo. Their findings suggest that professional development communities are fertile grounds for informal mentoring experiences that can successfully support the identity development of gay music educators and that mitigate feelings of isolation and invalidation so commonly experienced by LGBTQ teachers.

Especially important were the research participants’ interactions with guest speakers who visited the professional development community at monthly meetings. These guest speakers were successful LGBTQ music teacher educators who were willing to demonstrate vulnerability by sharing their own personal stories. Thus, these more experienced and happy LGBTQ mentors became models for the group members.

Carissimo, a candidate for a M.M. in Music Education K-12 at Fredonia and a graduate assistant in Music Education in the Fredonia School of Music, earned a Mus.B. in Music Education at Fredonia in 2019 and is an alumna of Rome Free Academy, Rome, N.Y. Their research study was supported by an Action Research Grant via the New York State School Music Association.