About Joan

DRAFT  Joan Maute, Ed.D. imagine the possibilities

music never ends 

On the last day of eighth grade Joan got her first real guitar (thank-you Mr. Williamson), a four-stringed tenor guitar. Joan wrote her first song when she was 14 when she entered a talent contest. Thinking she would show more talent by singing her own composition, Joan forgot it would only show talent if it was a good song! She lost that competition to a tap dancer in a sequin sports jacket. This was the 60s and the Chicago area was filled with coffee houses in the city and suburbs where aspiring performers could sing. By her junior year in high school Joan was the “house” singer at a local coffee house, Grendle’s Fen. Not only did this provide weekly time in front of an audience, but the other older and more experienced singers and players took an interest in helping Joan progress from that original four-stringed guitar to an old Gibson LGO six string. They taught her the mysteries of barre chords, the blues, traditional and topical folk music. Her writing improved and she had songs published in Chicago Folk Scene, but mainly sang the songs of contemporary singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ian Tyson, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and others.

During her senior year of high school she began singing at other coffee houses and clubs in Chicago and the suburbs. By the time she went to college she was doing college concerts, clubs, coffee houses, and television appearances. While she loved performing, she really hated the road so retired from performing during her senior year of college. She’s always said music would be a part of her life even if it wasn’t her life.  

After graduation from college, Joan began teaching and her guitar went into the classroom with her. In 1981 while working on her research for her M.Ed. Joan wrote four songs to help teachers teach about solar, wind, hydroelectric, and conservation power. Prior to this she’d always taken existing songs to teach. This was the first time she’d actually written songs to teach specific concepts and subjects. It opened up a whole new part of her career, taking the two things she loved to do, teach and sing, and putting them together. Joan has written and produced over 50 educational songs that continue to be used with students from early childhood to graduate school. Dr. Maute has been an educational consultant, songwriter, singer, and producer since the 80s. She has worked on projects for The Royal Canadian Opera Company, Softball Canada, The Environmental Protection Agency, the television series on energy, Transitions  and since retirement Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, a song and children’s book by Christine Lavin and Betsy Franco Feeney. Joan continues to write, record, and perform educational songs. Her latest educational song, "Get Out and Stay Out!" is a fire safety song written for the Hilton Head Fire Department. You can hear it and see the video on the video link above.

After decades of writing and performing educational music, Joan has spent the past few years getting back to what she calls “music for the soul,” songs of life, family, friends, and the times. She has written and recorded new music, can be found playing on the beach, in church, in schools and libraries, at open mics, in concert and select venues. Dream, Stretch and Grow was recorded and released in 2002. Look Around was recorded on Hilton Head and released in March of 2010. October 2010 Joan was back in the studio, this time in Nashville where she recorded four songs, including "These Things Live On In Me,” a song written for her Mom’s 98th birthday, August 17, 2010.  To honor her Mom who passed away in February, 2011, Joan released an EP/CD These Things Live On In Me.  Recording with Thomm Jutz and the other amazing musicians in Nashville started a new chapter in Joan’s studio work. She went back to work with them in 2013 recording So Much MoreBring It Around Again, her latest studio work, was recorded in the fall of 2014.  You can listen to songs from these CDs on the “listen” link.

learning never ends 

A singer/songwriter in the 60s, Joan took her guitar and music into the classroom when she began teaching in 1970. Long before Howard Gardner identified musical intelligence, Joan was using music to teach across the curriculum in her own classrooms (grades 4-8, social studies, reading, language arts, journalism, and media). She has shared her enthusiasm, experience, and expertise with thousands of teachers in the United States and Canada as a frequent presenter at national, state, and local conferences, institutes, and workshops. Joan has worked and co-presented with Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary) on Don’t Laugh At Me, an anti-bullying program available free to teachers and schools. Although she never taught music, Joan has long been recognized for her use of music as a teaching strategy to teach across the curriculum at all grade levels as featured in this article from 1982. Joan continues to be an advocate for the power and importance of the arts in education, both as stand alone subjects and to enhance learning across the curriculum. Joan’s articles and songs have been published in Science ScopeFolksong in the ClassroomMiddle GroundThe Middle School JournalTEAM, and many state journals. She has written and produced music for numerous projects and organizations including The United States Environmental Protection Agency, The Royal Canadian Opera Company, Softball Canada, and the television series Transitions. After 34 years in public education, Joan retired in 2003 and now continues to work with teachers and students, support Guitars For Vets, teach for Guitars In The Classroom, (GITC) read, write, play, and sing.

A believer in students and learning, Joan can be found in local classrooms using her music to teach students about the environment, earth science, history, and goal setting. A life-long learner, Joan continues to attend workshops (including Janis Ian’s Master Class, and songwriting and performance classes with Tom Paxton, Kathy Mattea, Don Henry and Jon Vezner) and work as an educational consultant on a variety of projects.  

Since 2011, Joan has been an instructor for Guitars (and ukes) In The Classroom and The Director of Education on GITC’s Board. Please use the contact form for further information about Joan’s work for and with schools.

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