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Annie Ray

Annie Ray

Music Is for Everyone: Practices of Inclusion for Students With Significant/Severe Disabilities

Clinic Synopsis:

A significant/severe disabilities Orchestra at Annandale High School began as a chance to make music with others and spun into a bigger conversation of what true inclusion actually looks like, and how the lessons taught by the students can be applied to a general education Orchestra class. This session not only outlines why true inclusion in music education is important, but also gives the attendees the tools to start a successful program and a chance to brainstorm creative solutions.

Annie Ray - Biographical Information

Annie Ray hails from a family of musical performers and educators in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and began playing piano at the age of three and harp at the age of five. A graduate of the University of North Texas in 2017, Annie holds Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Harp Performance. She currently serves as both the Orchestra Director and Leadership teacher at Annandale High School in the Fairfax County Public School system. Annie is an advocate for providing universal access to quality music education and is known for founding and developing creative opportunities to make music accessible to students of all demographics. Her creation of the FCPS Parent Orchestra helps over 150 parents learn to play their child’s instrument each year and has been featured in the County School news several times. In addition, the program also partners with local music colleges to provide hands-on teaching opportunities for future music educators. Annie’s collective efforts both in and out of the classroom have received multiple accolades including being declared “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” in 2019 and 2021. This past year, Annie also created a CAT B Orchestra program to bring the joy of Orchestra to High School students with severe developmental or intellectual disabilities. In January 2022, this program was featured and acclaimed on the cover of the Metro section in The Washington Post. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Irving, their baby girl Eloise, and her two favorite four-legged hiking buddies: dogs Baymax and Roo.