Frau Suzanne M. Schmidt
9th - 12th grade Teacher
Pennsbury High School West Campus Fairless Hills, PA
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About Frau Suzanne M. Schmidt
Pennsbury's Music Theory Program is the Middle States Regional recipient of the 2013-2014 CollegeBoard Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts. The Middle States Region consists of PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE and Washington DC. Congratulations, Mrs. Schmidt!!!
Growing up in Southeastern Michigan, Mrs. Schmidt was active in her high school music program. In addition to playing in the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, and Marching Band (Yes, she really did play the glockenspiel!), Mrs. Schmidt sang in the Women's Ensemble and Concert Choir and was the accompanist for several vocal ensembles. As a pianist, Mrs. Schmidt performed extensively and won many piano competitions throughout Michigan and the tri-state area.
A wealth of educational experiences accompany Mrs. Schmidt to her classroom. She received a Bachelor of Music Degree (BM) from The University of Michigan with a double major in performance and choral music education and a double minor in music history and music theory. In addition to her Kodaly Certification, Mrs. Schmidt received her Masters of Music Education Degree (MMEd), with distinction, from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She has 35+ credits beyond her Masters including a Music Technology Certification from Villanova University. Mrs. Schmidt was a choral director/theory instructor at the Csehy Summer School of Music for several years and is, currently, an Adjunct Instructor and an online instructor for Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Mrs. Schmidt has taught all levels of music in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in both public and Christian schools. After taking a number of years "off" to be a full-time mom, Mrs. Schmidt resumed her teaching career when she came to Pennsbury High School in 1991. At that time, Mrs. Schmidt served as the orchestra director, taught a theory course, and worked in the choral department. In 1993, Mrs. Schmidt began teaching both sections of music theory. With the implementation of block scheduling in 1996 and the popularity of music theory courses, the music theory program was expanded to the current four levels.
Mrs. Schmidt has been the recipient of several notable honors. As one of only nineteen contributing teachers nationally, Mrs. Schmidt helped to establish the MENC National Standards in Music Education for music composition. For the past eleven years, she has been a Faculty Consultant/Reader for Educational Testing Service, grading Advanced Placement Music Theory Exams. This year will be Mrs. Schmidt's fifth year serving as the Assistant to the Chief Reader at the Reading of the AP Music Theory Exam. Mrs. Schmidt has consistently been named to "Who's Who Among America's Teachers," "Who's Who in American Education," "Who's Who of American Women," "Who's Who in America," and "Who's Who in the World." In addition, Mrs. Schmidt was selected for the prestigious 2002 USA TODAY All-USA Teacher Team.
Mrs. Schmidt has presented the Pennsbury Music Theory Program as well as music theory workshops at the local, state, and national levels. Most recently, she presented our Program at the 2007 and 2011 Advanced Placement National Conferences in addition to presenting a workshop on developing music students' aural skills and sharing her innovative method of teaching the foundations of music without the staff. Mrs. Schmidt has also presented similar workshops at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association's in-service workshop days and music theory/composition workshops for various piano teacher groups in the tri-state area.
You will find Mrs. Schmidt actively involved in music outside of school, too. In addition to being active in the music ministry of her church, Mrs. Schmidt works as an adjudicator for piano auditions and competitions in Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As a faculty member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Teacher Division of the American College of Musicians, she has adjudicated not only for the National Guild, but for the Bucks County Piano Teachers Association, the Piano Teachers Forum of the Delaware Valley and the Gindhart Competition in Trenton NJ.
Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt have two children, both graduates of Pennsbury High School. Daughter, Katie (PHS 1996), is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College. She and her husband, Jim, live in Maryland and are the proud parents of Natalie Claire (7) and Margaux Jane (2). Son, Captain Tim Schmidt (PHS 2002), is a graduate of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and is serving our country as an aerospace project engineer at Warner-Robins Air Force Base near Macon, Georgia. Sophie, the Schmidt family's dog, enjoys supervising the neighborhood and her street from various high perches around the house.
In her "free" time, Mrs. Schmidt has several hobbies. She enjoys sewing, crocheting, gardening, and canning. Avid Michigan fans, you will find Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt cheering for their Wolverines on football Saturdays!