School of Music

School of Music Faculty

Jennifer Thomas

Jennifer Wetzel Thomas
Instructor, Music Education
Office: TBA
Email: JK-Wetzel@wiu.edu

Jennifer Wetzel Thomas is thrilled to return to her roots and join the faculty at Western Illinois University this fall. Jennifer is a Ph.D. candidate studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. She holds a Master's of Music Education from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor's of Music Education from Western Illinois University. Prior to her doctoral studies, Jennifer taught for 13 years in Illinois public schools. She has focused her teaching in elementary and early childhood music and has also taught beginning band, middle school band, and middle school general music. While at the University of Illinois, Jennifer taught numerous courses in Music for Elementary Teachers, Introduction to Music Education, Elementary School Early Fieldwork, and Diversity in Music Education along with supervising student teachers. She also served as a teaching assistant for Teaching Music in Middle Schools and Elementary General Music Methods.

Jennifer's primary research is focused on critical race theory in the elementary music classroom. She is also interested in disability research and preservice music teacher education. She has presented sessions at the Society for Music Teacher Education, the Big Ten Academic Alliance in Music Education, the Mountain Lake Symposium, Illinois Professional Development Summer Series, and the Illinois Music Education Conference. She has also served on several state and national committees.