Music Fellow

2020 - 2021

Katherine H. Palmer, DMA

Katherine Palmer enjoys a multifaceted career as an arts educator, museum professional, and non-profit leader.

Katherine is the curator of education at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix (AZ), where she is in charge of developing and teaching interdisciplinary content. Working with diverse learners from early childhood to older adults, Katherine has been instrumental in molding MIM’s educational approach and overseeing programming content related to MIMkids classes, field trips, professional development, volunteer docent training, and creative aging sessions. As an educator, Katherine also serves as a Faculty Associate in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University and adjunct instructor at Paradise Valley Community College.

Passionate about early childhood education and world music, she served as the 2021 Gretsch Fellow in Children's Music at the Fred Rogers Institute at St. Vincent College where she investigated how diverse music making and listening can promote empathy and cultural awareness.

Between 2016-2023, Katherine served as the executive director of Daraja Music Initiative (DMI), a non-profit organization – registered 501©3 and international NGO – that provides music and environmental conservation education in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania during the summer months to students. Aiming to bridge the arts and sciences, DMI promotes sustainability of African Blackwood trees from which clarinets – and other instruments – are constructed as a tool to promote environmental stewardship through the arts. She is an active board member.

Additionally, Katherine performs with the Mill Ave Chamber Players, a Phoenix-based woodwind quintet, and has appeared with a variety of musical groups throughout Phoenix and Arizona, including Arizona Musicfest, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Phoenix Theatre Company. In addition to frequent national and regional appearances, Katherine has also presented papers, workshops, and performances at international conferences for the College Music Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFests, and the International Society for Music Education.

Katherine holds degrees from the University of Miami (BM) and Arizona State University (MM, MA, and DMA) in music performance (clarinet) and ethnomusicology.

To learn more about Katherine you can visit her website at:

To explore "Expanding the Neighborhood: Diversifying Music Making and Listening Inspired by Fred Rogers" created by Katherine Palmer please click on the image below!