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Abbie Rockwell

This is my 6th year teaching music at Ruby Bridges. I live in Oakland and grew up in San Francisco.  I have also lived and taught in Massachusetts, New York, Los Angeles, North Carolina, Australia and Livermore.  My own music education started with listening to my father play the piano every night as I fell asleep and fell in love with music. 

I took piano lessons and flute lessons as a child and played flute and piccolo in school bands and orchestras. At Bard College, in upstate New York, I majored in music performance.  When I graduated I moved to Los Angeles for a career in music performance and taught private flute lessons.   I volunteered to help an elementary music teacher at a public school in Hollywood and realized I wanted to be a music teacher.  I went back to school for a credential. 

I started work as a music aide while I was working on my credential and then worked for 2 years as a traveling instrumental music teacher.  I then worked at Miramonte Elementary, a public school in South-Central Los Angeles with 2,400 students on a year-round schedule, teaching classroom music, band, orchestra and chorus for 7 years.   I also continued my education at the University of Southern California and received a Masters Degree and a Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction. 

I then lived in and taught music in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Canberra, Australia and Livermore, CA. 

I love teaching at Ruby Bridges and have the most wonderful students. 

I teach the elements of music, beat, rhythm, melody, form, harmony, and expressive elements, using folk songs from around the world, popular music, and music from the different world music traditions.  Since starting at Ruby Bridges I have learned a World Music Drumming Curriculum through summer workshops and have completed the collection of instruments at Ruby Bridges to allow all students in a class to participate on all instruments.


I have three daughters, a Portuguese Water Dog named Tiago, and a little house in Oakland.  In my spare time I like to sing, work in the garden, bake, and run and walk with my dog.  I am in the Oakland Symphony Chorus but we are not rehearsing currently because of the pandemic.  I look forward to teaching my terrific students this year.