Bronx, N.Y.—Professor of music Penny Prince has a busy spring ahead of her. During the Dean’s Award on April 16, the Lehman College community will get a peek at her new production of Cinderella when two songs are performed. Then, on April 22, Prof. Prince will be honored by the Music Educators’ Association of New York City (MEANYC) for her inspiring teaching style.
It comes as no surprise that Prof. Prince should be recognized for her dedication to the profession; her collaborative teaching style has been inspiring Lehman students since she joined the music department. “I love what I’m doing anyway, but to be recognized is an incredible feeling,” says Prof. Prince, who sits on the advisory board for MEANYC.
“I feel that the most exciting thing about teaching is feeling spontaneous, being able to live in the moment,” says Prof. Prince. For her, learning is a give-and-take where she gains as much from her students. “Here at Lehman, we have amazing students in the department. People who are already playing in the pits of Broadway shows or jazz musicians who gig every weekend.”
In addition, she has the ability to find the nonstop excitement that can come from teaching—whether it is an intro class or an advanced one for the master’s degree. “When something happens in the classroom, when a student opens up a new door with a question or idea, I want to go through it. So teaching is never the same,” says Prof. Prince.
Her next collaboration will be Cinderella, which opens on May 7 at Lehman. “I have produced a collaborative musical theater play every year. I write the music and lyrics and the cast writes the script,” says Prof. Prince, whose past productions have included Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. Though Cinderella is a classic, it gets a full makeover at Lehman. That means the audience will see new characters and scenes that explore the motivation behind some of the characters. Prof. Prince says it is “different than any Cinderella out there.”
Dr. Prince (B.M., M.M., Ph.D.) is an assistant professor of music. She is also a supervisor of music student teachers and interns at Lehman, and has devised curricula for a number of courses, including “Music in the Elementary School: Advanced Techniques,” “Music in Early Childhood,” and “Introduction to Structure and Literature.”
She received a PSC-CUNY grant in 2006 for her work bringing original college theatre to public school audiences, and in 2010 for her book, The Princess Musicals. Her doctoral research focused on Co-creating Cinderella: Examining and Documenting a Collaboratory Musical Theatre Process. She is a member of the editorial review board of Excelsior Journal for Leadership in Teaching and Learning, and is a prolific composer of musical theatre pieces. Over the years she has won 13 consecutive ASCAP merit awards for her educational and children’s music.
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