I am incredibly excited to continue developing the rich spirit of music-making here at Fairmount! I am in my second year at Fairmount, and before joining the team here I spent two years developing the music program at Ute Meadows Elementary in Littleton. Prior to teaching at Ute, I worked as a freelance musician and teacher in Central Indiana and West Michigan. I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and studied Music Education at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, before moving to Colorado a few years ago.

I am passionate about guiding students to authentic musical learning experiences. I believe music is best learned from the “inside out;” that is, students must have rich experiences with a variety of high-quality music before they can begin to understand it and process its concepts. This is how children learn and process language, and musical understanding occurs in much the same way. I also believe that music and movement go hand-in-hand and that children must learn the way the naturally do: by moving, saying, singing, and playing. Learning and creating music is a continuous process, and I believe that the students should make the bulk of the creative decisions in the music classroom. In my view, performances are the natural result of that process; therefore, every student should have opportunities to perform. 

I also believe that music has the power to connect people in a way that no other medium can. It is vital, then, for students to experience music not only within the school walls but also in the greater community. Our students have opportunities to travel to the Boettcher Concert Hall downtown to hear the Colorado Symphony and to tour backstage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. They also go into the community to share music at nursing homes and school events. I have also worked with other music teachers in Jeffco to bring world-renowned musicians and clinicians to Jeffco to work with our students. Choir members have an opportunity to audition for the Colorado Elementary All-State Choir and sing with other students from around the state. My hope with these experiences is that students can feel the power they have as artists to connect to and be inspired by the world around them.

I have completed training in both the Orff-Schulwerk and the Kodály philosophies of music education. I completed Orff Level I at the University of Northern Colorado and Level II at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and plan to complete Level III this coming summer. I completed all three levels of Kodály certification at the Colorado Kodály Institute at Colorado State University, where I graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Music in Music Education in 2017.

Professionally, I am active in a number of music education organizations. I am a member of the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) and its parent organization, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). I also belong to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (RMC-AOSA), where I currently serve as Vice President of its board and will serve as President beginning this summer. I also serve as Secretary on the board of the Regional Organization of Colorado Kodály Educators (ROCKE), which is a regional chapter of the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). Not only have I been able to attend numerous local workshops and national conferences through these organizations, I have also had the opportunity to present lesson ideas and/or research at Jeffco professional development meetings, at RMC-AOSA and ROCKE chapter share workshops, and at the annual CMEA Clinic/Conference with other members of the ROCKE board. Recently, I was asked to join the planning committee for the 2020 OAKE National Conference.

A pianist, vocalist, and occasional organist, I perform regularly throughout the Denver area. I am a member of the Denver Pro Chorale and serve as an accompanist with the Denver Public Schools Citywide Honor Choirs program. Additionally, I am the choir accompanist and traditional worship musician at Glory of God Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge.

I feel honored to be part of the Fairmount community, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the students here! Please feel free to email or call with any questions you might have.

Thank you in advance for all of your support!



Joseph Howell DeWinkle

Music Teacher, Fairmount Elementary

President-Elect, Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association

Secretary, Regional Organization of Colorado Kodály Educators

Joseph.DeWinkle@jeffco.k12.co.us | 303/982.4006 (voicemail) | 303/982.5422 (school main)