Louise Derning is an educator with nearly four decades of experience in the music classroom. With an emphasis on guided practice and lesson analysis, she prepares students in music education at the Chicago College of Performing Arts with skills necessary to meet the complexities of the K-8 music curriculum.
Louise attended the University of Illinois, Urbana and earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. She began her teaching career in Orland Park, Illinois as a junior high general music instructor. Two years later, she took the position of director of choral activities at Reavis High School where she remained for ten years.
During that time, Louise became active in the Illinois Music Educators Association and eventually served for two years as district chairman. Her co-curricular activities included forming and training auxiliaries for the marching band program, directing the school musicals, and developing an internationally competitive show choir. Opportunities to serve as a clinician and adjudicator at music camps and contests in Illinois and Wisconsin grew during this time and continue to the present, offering Louise a broader perspective on the needs and abilities of young high school musicians coming from widely diverse backgrounds. She was a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus under the direction of Margaret Hillis and completed her Master of Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
Louise has enjoyed the challenges and rewards of working with non-for-profit organizations, particularly the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra Association. While serving on the Board, she was the director of program planning and development and subsequently was elected president. During her tenure as President, Louise developed and implemented a vehicle to underwrite ESO programming through charitable giving.
Louise has taught her entire career in the Chicago area, most recently as an elementary music specialist for grades K-5. She enjoys working on curriculum development as well as collaborative efforts supporting developmentally appropriate best practices for the music classroom.