Cara Bernard

Assistant Clinical Professor of Music Education

Expertise: Music Education, Curriculum, Teacher Evaluation and Policy, Qualitative Research, Choral Music Education, Critical Pedagogy

Curriculum and Instruction

Academic Degrees:
Doctor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Master of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Master of Music Education, Westminster Choir College
Bachelor of Science, Music Education, New York University

Cara Bernard is Assistant Clinical Professor of Music Education at the University of Connecticut in the Neag School of Education, where she teaches courses in choral and elementary methods, curriculum, and supervises student teaching. As a sought-after clinician, Dr. Bernard has been invited by choral organizations and state music education associations across the country to give workshops and lead festival performances for students and teachers. She has conducted, performed, and prepared choruses for performances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, the 92nd Street Y, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, and Symphony Space, in addition to a number of other venues throughout the Northeast.

Dr. Bernard has presented at various international, national, and regional conferences. She currently serves on the editorial committee of Music Educators Journal, Arts Education Policy Review, and Visions of Research in Music Education. She has served on the CT State Education Department’s Arts Equity Incentive Committee and the National ACDA Diversity Initiative Sub-Committee, where she created policy, curriculum, and outreach to make the Arts accessible and equitable for all students. Dr. Bernard’s research areas include music teacher evaluation and policy, teacher education, choral music education, urban music education, and diversity and access. She was a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Council of Research in Music Education and the 2013 Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award.

Dr. Bernard was the director and conductor of the Count Me In program at Carnegie Hall, where she designed and implemented a vocal and choral curriculum for beginning-level middle school music students. Additionally, she worked with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City™ in their School Choral Program, working with New York City public schools to bring a choral experience to over 1,000 children throughout the city. Prior to these appointments, Dr. Bernard enjoyed many years of teaching high school chorus, general music, and piano in the New York City public schools. Currently, she is the co-music director of SoHo Voce, a women’s a cappella ensemble based in New York City. Dr. Bernard holds degrees from Teachers College of Columbia University, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and New York University. She is the co-author of the bookTeacher Evaluation in Music: A Guide for Teachers in the US, published by Oxford University Press.


Bernard, C. F.& Abramo, J. M. (2019). Teacher evaluation in music: A guide for music teachers in the U.S.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Bernard, C. F., & Rotjan, M. (in press). “It depends:” From narration sickness to wide awake action in music education. Submitted to Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education.

Bernard, C. F. (in press). Book review of Oxford Handbook of Philosophical and Qualitative Assessment in Music Education. Philosophy of Music Education Review.

Abramo, J. M., & Bernard, C. F. (2020). Barriers to access and university schools of music: A collective case study of urban high school students of color and their teachers. Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, 226, 7-26.

Bernard, C. F., & Cayari, C. (2020). Encouraging participatory music making through differentiation on the ukulele. General Music Today, 34(1).

Bernard, C., & McBride, N. R. (2020). “Ready for primetime:” EdTPA, pre-service music educators, and the hyperreality of teaching. Visions of Research in Music Education, 35, 1-26.

Churchill, W., & Bernard, C. F. (2020). Disability and the ideology of ability: How might music educators respond? Philosophy of Music Education Review, 28(1), 2446. 

Bernard, C. F. (2019). Arts Policy at the Street Level in the New York City Department of Education. Arts Education Policy Review. DOI: 10.1080/10632913.2018.1530713

Bernard, C. F., Weiss, L., & Abeles, H. (2018). Seeking growth and advice: Social media as a space for music teacher professional development. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 215, 75-94.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters
Bernard, C. (2015). The shoe that doesn’t fit: Contextualizing music teacher evaluation. In S. Conkling (Ed.) Envisioning Music Teacher Education. Lanham, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Journal Articles
Bernard, C. F., Kohan, M., D. Kaufmann, Mitoma, G. (2019). Confronting the edTPA in Connecticut: Recommendations for Teacher Candidate Quality, Sustainability, and Empowerment. Education policy paper.

Bernard, C. F. & Abramo, J. M. (2019). “But that doesn’t work in music!”: A guide for productive dialogue in teacher evaluation. Massachusetts Music Educators Journal.

Cote, H. & Bernard, C. (2017). Standard II. Teaching All Students: Authentic Questioning Techniques in the Ensemble Rehearsal through the Lens of Teacher Evaluation. Massachusetts Music Educators Journal, 65(3), 46-47.

Bernard, C. (2015). Beyond the choral rehearsal:  A dialogical journey. School Music News.

Papoulis, J., & Bernard, C. F. (2020). The Jim Papoulis songwriting workshop for choirs. Hal Leonard:

Bernard, C. F., & Abramo, J. M. (2018). Diversifying Music Educators: Creating Frameworks and Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Urban and Rural    Students and Students of Color. National Association for Music Education’s Research Projects on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Music Education ($9,999).

Bernard, C. F., & Abramo, J. M. (2017). Diversifying Music Educators: Creating Frameworks and Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Urban Students and Students of Color. Funded by the Dean’s Research Incentive Award, Neag School of Education ($4,334).

Contact Information
Phone860 486-5444
Bernard CV Bernard CV CURRENT
Mailing AddressUnit 3033
Office LocationGentry 401C