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Directors Circle

May 1, 2020

In this episode of the podcast, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lori Schwartz Reichl. Lori is an author, clinician, and music educator who is well known for her contributions to publications such as In Tune Magazine and Teaching Music Magazine. In this interview, Lori shares her ideas on setting up students for success and incorporating diversity into musical experiences. 


Topics include:

- Lori talks about her work and creating professional development materials for music teachers 

- Establishing routines to enhance the music-making process 

- The importance of diversity when programming repertoire



Lori’s website:

Lori’s YouTube Channel:



Lori Schwartz Reichl (b. 1978) is a champion of mentorship and motivation in education. She strives daily to "make key changes" in education for all students, educators, and supporters. Lori's culturally diverse experiences of building and maintaining secondary band programs in rural, Title I, and corrective action schools have transformed her career into serving as an active adjudicator, author, clinician, conductor, instructor, and speaker.

Lori has enjoyed serving as a guest conductor in Europe, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota for numerous honor band festivals and new music reading sessions. She has presented for music education associations including: DMEA (Delaware), KMEA (Kansas), PMEA (Pennsylvania), MMEA (Maryland), OMEA (Ohio), NAfME (National Association for Music Education), NAfME's Eastern Division, South Dakota Bandmasters Association, WBDI (Women Band Directors International) and prepared countless K-12 professional development and collegiate sessions. She has been interviewed for several music education podcasts and often serves as host, interviewer, moderator, or panelist for educational programs.

Lori is the author of the “Tools for Educators” series entitled “Key Changes: Refreshing Your Music Program” published monthly in the teacher's guide of In Tune Magazine where she provides resources to enhance the music classroom and rehearsal space. She also serves as a journalist for Teaching Music Magazine. With more than 60 published educational pieces, Lori's work is featured each month as part of NAfME's Music in a Minuet Blog, frequently appears in The Woman Conductor Journal, and is routinely republished in many state music education association journals and newsletters. Her articles, "Professionalism in Teaching" and "Make It Stick!", were highlighted as two of NAfME's "Top 10 Most-Read Music Education Blogs of 2019". Lori designed her mentoring publications into a graduate course that she instructs annually through The University of the Arts in Pennsylvania appropriately entitled "Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program". She also receives residences at universities to mentor and motivate pre-service teachers. 

As the Head of Engagement for ICD (Institute for Composer Diversity), Lori is dedicated to the celebration, education, and advocacy of music created by composers of historically underreprested groups. In Maryland, Lori serves as Artistic and Executive Director of the Regional Repertory Wind Ensemble, Coordinator of Howard County's Secondary Solo & Ensemble Festival, and Conductor of Howard County's Middle School Honor Band. For Women Band Directors International, she serves as a member of the Mentoring Committee and State Chair for Maryland. Lori has served as a high school band director for American Music Abroad (2006-2010), conductor of the Howard County Middle School Gifted and Talented Band (2016-2017), and supervisor of music education interns for Towson University (2017-2018).

As a saxophone player, Lori grew-up in Manchester, Pennsylvania and attended the Northeastern School District in York County. She was fortunate to have her father, Frank Schwartz, as her elementary and high school band director. She credits her large extended family, and especially her father and mother, for her love of music and teaching. In 2001, Lori began her career as the first full-time band director of Daniel Boone Area Middle School in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where she received the Superintendent's Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2006 she moved to Maryland and began her work with Title I Schools. As band director of Oakland Mills Middle School, Lori was a finalist for the 2011 Howard County Teacher of the Year Award as well as a finalist for the 2013 Howard County Parents for School Music Educator of the Year Award. Under her baton, the Oakland Mills Bands received consecutive superior ratings at county, state, and regional adjudications, were presented an Honorary Resolution from the Howard County Council, and performed as the featured middle school band at the 2014 Maryland Music Educators Conference. Lori was asked to serve as band director and create the music program for Thomas Viaduct Middle School (2014-2016), Howard County’s newest secondary school. In its opening year, the band received superior ratings at county and regional festivals and was invited to perform at the state band festival.

Lori received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education from West Chester University, Master of Music Education from Lebanon Valley College, and Administrator I Certification through McDaniel College.

Lori resides near Baltimore, Maryland with her non-musical husband, her 4-year-old daughter who is Broadway bound, and her 2-year-old son who is destined to be a percussionist.

Lori's motto is "Embrace your uniqueness!"