Amanda Soto is the Assistant Professor of Music Education where she teaches undergraduate and graduate music education courses. Prior to moving to the Moscow area, Soto was a middle school band director in South Texas and taught general music to children in Kindergarten through sixth grade within the Seattle Public Schools. While attending the University of Washington, Soto was the program coordinator of the Music Alive! in the Yakima Valley, which was a university-community partnership. Through this partnership, music education students were able to learn the importance of understanding the diverse communities whom they may one day serve, through local family homestays, participation in local cultural events, and opportunities to teach the children and youth of these communities. Ms. Soto was also the mentor teacher for the University of Washington music education lab school and has co-taught the Smithsonian Folkways Certification Workshop where teachers earn documentation from the Smithsonian Institution that certifies their specialize study in world music pedagogy.
Her research interests include cultural diversity in music education, bimusical sensibilities of children, world music pedagogy, children’s musical culture, and the study of regional musics of South Texas and Mexican music. Soto holds publications in Music Educators Journal, Journal of Research in Music Education, the International Journal of Ethnomusicology Studies of World Music and Dance Education, and the upcoming edition of Multicultural Perspectives in Music Education. Soto has created lesson plans on traditional Mexican music and conjunto music that appear on the Smithsonian Folkways website.
Ms. Soto has conducted clinical workshops in various musical genres of Mexico, regional Latin musical styles in the U.S., and promoted the use of Smithsonian Folkways archive in the public school classroom. She has presented her research at MENC, the College of Music Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research, and the international conference on Cultural Diversity in Music Education. She has created student and teacher workshops for the American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music exhibit at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, WA and for the PBS documentary, Latino Music USA.
Ms. Soto is a Ph.D. Candidate in music education at the University of Washington. She holds a M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington and a B.M. in music education from the University of North Texas. She has undertaken certification studies in Orff and Kodály pedagogical approaches and holds a certification in world music pedagogy from the Smithsonian Institute.