Karen Salvador Assistant Professor of Music Education


  • Music Education

209 Music Practice Building
East Lansing, MI 48824


Karen Salvador is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Michigan State University’s College of Music, where she teaches courses regarding music in early childhood and elementary general music as well as graduate seminars in music education psychology and research. Prior to her appointment at Michigan State, Dr. Salvador coordinated the music teacher certification program at the University of Michigan-Flint. She previously taught elementary general music (K-4) in Eaton Rapids, MI; choir and drama in Palmerston North, New Zealand; early childhood music at the MSU Community Music School; children’s choirs in Grand Rapids, MI; and early childhood music at the UM-Flint Early Childhood Development Center.

Dr. Salvador earned her PhD in Music Education and Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Western Michigan University. Her research pertains to how music educators meet individual student needs, particularly in early childhood and elementary grades. This research extends into music teacher education, exploring both program practices for music educator preparation and also the lived experiences of music educators who are working to become more inclusive and responsive. Her research appears in journals including Journal of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music in Early Childhood, Arts Education Policy Review, Research Studies in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, and Music Educators Journal. Most recently, Dr. Salvador contributed the content on inclusive practices to Music Play 2.

Dr. Salvador directs the early childhood music education programs at Michigan State’s Community Music Schools in Detroit and East Lansing, where she also directs Cantabile, a choir for 7-9 year-old children. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Music Teacher Education and is the site chair for the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association’s 2021 convention. Salvador is a past president of the Michigan Music Education Association, and is currently President of the National Association for Music Education’s ten-state North Central Division. A frequent presenter, Dr. Salvador is in demand for workshops on early childhood and elementary music (particularly regarding ability-responsive and culturally sustaining instruction) and as a facilitator working with music teaching and learning organizations to strategize toward more inclusive, responsive, and sustaining practices.