Ashley Shank coordinates the student teaching program for the music education area. Her duties include assigning student teacher placements, in-servicing new cooperating teachers, conducting student teaching seminars, supervising student teachers, and teaching music education courses. She has significant experience in public school education, including teaching elementary general music and arts infusion in the Urbana School District in Urbana, Illinois, and choral music at Brashear High School in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Prior to her appointment at Penn State, Dr. Shank taught at Susquehanna University where she also served as director of the music preparatory program, their early childhood music program, and partnership with Summit Early Learning.
Dr. Shank’s interests include the importance of pattern recognition in music learning, developing comprehensive musicianship, music for students with special needs, arts integration, and preparing students for the 21st-century job market. She also enjoys sharing her experience in new music commissioning, grant writing, and non-profit administration.
She further contributes to the musical community as an active flutist and teacher. She is an active performer in a variety of settings and has a particular interest in new music and music from Russia and the former Soviet Republics. Her private students have earned top chairs in district, regional, all-state, and all-east festivals, received superior ratings at solo and ensemble festivals and continued their flute studies at the college level.