I am incredibly excited to continue developing the rich spirit of music-making here at Fairmount! This is my third 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 in Jeffco, 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. 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. Music and movement go hand-in-hand and children must learn the way the naturally do: by singing, saying, moving, 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 teachers to our schools 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 the Orff-Schulwerk, Kodály, and Dalcroze philosophies of music education. I completed Orff Level I at the University of Northern Colorado and Levels II & III at Metropolitan State University of Denver. All three levels of my Kodály certification were completed at the Colorado Kodály Institute at Colorado State University. I graduated from CSU summa cum laude with a Master of Music in Music Education in 2017. At CSU, I also completed a level of training in the Dalcroze philosophy of music education. I am certified through both the American Orff-Schulwerk Association and the Organization of American Kodály Educators.

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 President of its board. 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 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 to be held in Portland, OR.

A pianist, vocalist, and 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, 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)