Missy has been teaching general, choral, and instrumental music to students in grades Pre-K to 8th grade for over 20 years. She currently serves as a K–4 General and Vocal Specialist in the Mt. Laurel, New Jersey Public Schools. She is also the Music Education Curriculum Writer for the Rafiki Foundation, an organization with schools serving students in 10 African countries. For over a decade, she served as the Children’s Music Education Director at Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, where she oversaw the program and faculty for Schola Cantorum, the church’s music program for over 100 students in preschool through 6th grade.
After earning her master’s degree in 2003, Missy went on to earn her Doctorate in Music Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Development from Rutgers University in New Brunswick in 2012, during which time she also worked as the Senior Research Assistant for Music Together. Missy’s major research interests center on musical development in early childhood and neuroscience as it relates to children and music. Her major teachers have included William Berz, David Elliott, John Feierabend, Lili Levinowitz, Allison Reynolds, and Marissa Silverman.
In 2012, Missy was invited to be one of the Founding Members of the Feierabend Association for Music Education (FAME), an organization for which she served 2 terms as the vice president. She received her Endorsement from FAME as a Teacher Trainer for Conversational Solfege Levels 1 and 2 and leads certification courses in the United States and internationally. She also serves as the Social Media Coordinator for FAME, overseeing the Twitter account as well as Feierabend Fundamentals, FAME’s Facebook page with a membership of over 4,000 members.
Missy has presented at the district, state, national, international, and college levels, and she frequently mentors young teachers. She often consults with teachers, schools, and churches looking to implement general and choral music programs for children. Her presentation topics range from movement with young children, to classroom management, to folk dancing, to helping teachers specifically implement John Feierabend’s work into their own music programs. A frequent consultant and clinician, she presents workshops and teaches courses at the international, regional, state, local, and collegiate level. Dr. Strong is a published author and editor with articles in both state and national music education journals, as well as Feierabend Fundamentals: History, Philosophy, and Practice (2018, GIA Publications), a book she co-edited with John Feierabend. She is also a contributing author for an upcoming music education book from Oxford University Press.
Missy and her husband, Jeremy (a composer, pianist, and church organist), enjoy making music together with their four children, Ethan, Owen, Lorelei, and Jackson, in southern New Jersey.