Cindy Spangler Adkins received a BS and honors in Music Education with a major in piano from Concord University. She earned a MM in Music Education at the West Virginia University School of Music, exercising the piano recital option at the end of her term. The methodological classes in music education that Cindy took during this period sparked her interest in K-12 teaching and helped shape her belief in the power of music to transform young lives. Her philosophy is grounded in an extensive study of music theory and informed by her study of the Orff Schulwerk music education model, a child-centered approach to active and imaginative music-making that combines music, movement, drama, and speech into lessons. Cindy is a level III certified Orff Schulwerk teacher.
Cindy has nearly 35 years of combined experience as a music educator in the public school systems within the wider DC area (Fairfax County, Howard County, and Prince William County) and West Virginia (Monroe County and Raleigh County). As an elementary school music teacher, she led large and small group classes in singing, creative movement, and musical instruments, helping students develop basic musical technique, listening skills, and a love for music of all styles. Students performed in supportive settings throughout the year, and at regular intervals, parents were welcomed into the classroom to observe and participate in the delighted musical display of their children. In her years with middle and high schools, Cindy directed keyboard programs, led school bands, conducted choral ensembles, and taught music theory. Students were exposed to a wide spectrum of music study from the fundamentals of music (scales, keys, rhythm, and harmony) to musical technique (instrumental, practice, and performance) to performance opportunities (school assemblies, dedicated concerts, special programs, and sports events). During these years, Cindy also maintained a vibrant, private piano studio with an average of 20 students across the K-12 age range, as well as adults. A number of students continued their studies in college, and a number have pursued professional careers of their own. A hallmark of Cindy’s teaching in school or piano studio environments is her nurturing of the whole child through focused, encouraging, and individualized musical instruction that grows a young musician technically and musically, and instills a life-long love of music. She is thrilled to be part of the Richardson School of Music faculty and have the opportunity to create beautiful music with the school’s students.
Beyond her teaching experience, Cindy has enjoyed a notable career as a church musician for over 30 years. In 2016, she was appointed the Music Director of St. Thomas Episcopal Church (DC), where she is the pianist, organist, and choir director. She has served as the Minister of Music at Christian Love Baptist Church (Baltimore), Choir Director and Piano Accompanist at Carr Memorial Methodist Church (Princeton, WV), and the Pianist/Organist at Fairfax Circle Baptist Church, Braddock Baptist Church (Alexandria), and First Baptist Church (Beckley, WV), among others. In addition to her classical piano endeavors, Cindy is an enthusiast of jazz, blues, and classic rock, which she performs in traditional concert venues, clubs, and event settings in the DC area. Perhaps her greatest joy is accompanying her daughter Jeanie Crawford-Adkins, a professional vocalist who sings in the DC area…and her mother’s living room.