Educational Work

Category : Uncategorized Jan 24th, 2013
learning music terminology with sticky notes
Learning terminology with forehead sticky notes

I have taught music at all levels—including K-12, university, and adult learners—for more than ten years, as well as worked as an administrator in a variety of educational settings.

My approach to education is multifaceted and accommodates a variety of learning styles. I frequently incorporate multimedia as well as games or other interactive tasks into my lesson planning. My style is high-energy, reflecting my belief that an engaging stage persona is as important in the classroom as it is for a performing musician—live demonstrations are an important component of my teaching.

My focus is not only on teaching students about music, but also on helping them to develop transferrable skills, including discipline, creativity, critical thinking/listening, leadership, and communication. I am also a believer in connecting students with their communities; I make every effort to bring my students in contact with local musicians, performing arts organizations, and other experts who can help them to realize the real-world applications of what they are learning in the classroom or in my studio.

I also teach private cello at all levels, beginning piano, and chamber music. To inquire about lessons, group classes, and workshops, please e-mail me at ltbranstetter [at] gmail [dot] com.

Student Feedback:

In the classroom at CWRU
In the classroom at Case Western Reserve University

  • When I first signed up for this class [History of Rock and Roll at Case Western Reserve University], I thought I would just be learning about the history of rock and roll … Leah taught us so much more, and I am so grateful because I know so much information about music in general that I never thought I would learn in my life.
  • I really loved this class had have recommended it to everyone that I’ve talked to. I really liked that I could talk about different rock bands with my dad and even recommend some music to him while being able to do the same with my mom and prog rock.
  • I really like that you are so passionate about the music. I also like that you teach it to us in such a casual relatable way.
  • I don’t know how Leah did it but I actually retained knowledge from every class.

In the Classroom:

Case Western Reserve University

History of Rock and Roll (MUPM 212)
Twitter: #mupm212
View the complete syllabus

Course Description:

This course will introduce the history and styles of rock and roll, from its roots in the musics of African-Americans and rural whites, through its emergence in the 1950s, and into the myriad subgenres that developed in the late twentieth century. Throughout the course, we will also trace trends in the industry and culture of music, learn about key performers and performances, and study the relationship between music and technology.

This is a three-credit-hour course for students who are not majoring in music (music majors should take MUHI 312). There are no prerequisites.


Upon completion of this course, it is expected that students will have gained the ability to:

  1. aurally identify the stylistic components of rock music and use salient musical features to distinguish between the diverse genres and subgenres represented in the listening assignments (which include, but are not limited to, rockabilly, soul, surf, disco, reggae, funk, country rock, heavy metal, new wave, and hip-hop);
  2. define and employ the musical terminology introduced throughout the term and utilize relevant reference and research resources;
  3. think critically about the relationship between musical style and cultural history by connecting major performers, genres, and songs to concurrent historical events and social movements;
  4. understand the business of popular music, including marketing and sales practices, issues of copyright and intellectual property, and methods of tracking audience response;
  5. describe the role that technology plays in the creation, preservation, and mass mediation of musical sounds.