Taylor Kroma-Wiley, Lower School General Music & Choirs Director

Role(s) at Shipley
PreK-5 General Music and Choir
Cantare Director

Eastman School of Music, B.M. & B.M.E. 

Prior Professional Experience:
Temple University Building Blocks Instructor
ROCmusic Collaborative Teaching Artist
Eastman Community Music School Early Childhood Instructor
Children’s Center of Brighton Music and Movement Teacher

How/why did you get into music?
When I was in high school, my dad suffered from a myriad of health problems stemming from an angiogram and spent an extended period of time in the hospital in recovery. Music was already a very big part of my life before that, but during that time, I turned to it even more. I ended up creating an annual charity concert at my high school to raise money for the hospital (and a different charity each year moving forward). I made it a concert of all different musical styles and ensembles, and seeing the way the community came together in the concert solidified my desire to become a teacher and pursue these experiences for my students long term!

What is your music teaching philosophy or style?
My job is to create lifelong enthusiasts; some students will go on to play in professional orchestras, others might enjoy picking up a guitar on a Friday night, and some might just enjoy listening in the car and at concerts. No matter how someone chooses to engage with music, I want to be there to help them hone their listening and appreciation skills. At the elementary level, that looks like a lot of listening, moving, singing, and learning foundational skills like reading and writing. The goal for students is to be independent in their learning—whether that is reading, composing, performing, or discussing a piece of music.

How would your students describe you?
Optimistic, level-headed, fair.

Do you have any musical heroes or inspiration? If so, who are they and why?
Gaelynn Lea is one of my musical heroes! She is a folk singer, violinist, public speaker, and disability advocate. She is the epitome of overcoming challenges and creating music with whatever you have. Gaelynn inspires me to see the musical potential in everyone, just like her teachers did!

What music do you listen to for fun?
Anything Chris Thile, but especially the Goat Rodeo Sessions!

Fun fact about you:
I have four black cats and I also like to foster kittens! There are a lot of cute cat things in the music room, and I always appreciate a hand-drawn cat photo!

Anything else you’d like people to know about you:
One of my degrees at Eastman was in jazz bass performance, and though I don’t do a lot of professional playing now, it still remains a big part of who I am as a musician.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.