Robin J. Freeman


Robin J. Freeman (M.M., M.Ed.)

Robin is a choral conductor and music educator striving to create vibrant, positive choral communities where people can learn, sing, and grow together. Her research explores intersections of the social and personal dimensions of group singing, and her recent publications address topics of inclusion in choral singing and social emotional learning in the choral classroom. She has over 15 years of music teaching experience in a variety of settings, including professional, higher education, high school, online, and volunteer contexts. She is a founding member of Carnelian, a collective vocal quartet that explores contemporary social issues through music, poetry, and visual art. As a committed teacher educator, she organized an international virtual music conference in 2020 that brought together hundreds of practitioners, researchers, and pedagogues. She is a doctoral candidate in Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is examining how choral experiences for adult avocational singers—including the popular “virtual choir”—can become spaces of collaboration, decolonization, and transformation.


This arts-based autoethnography centers the lived realities of a motherscholar parenting two young children and working from her New York apartment during the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The sudden state of precarity acts as a catalyst, forcing the author to see the ordinary with new eyes.  She wonders: where do I hold on or let go?  How am I becoming in this impasse?  How do I parent in/through this?  To linger in the creative potential of these questions, she turns to artistic ways of knowing poetry, photovoice, and musical improvisation.  Throughout her inquiry, she testifies to the entangled and embodied aspects of her existence.

Hold My Soul: Mothering while the world burns

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