Rhoda Bernard

Rhoda Bernard Headshot

General Info


Chair of Music Education

As a teacher, my job is to help my students to find their own voices as musician-teacher-scholars. As an administrator, I am deeply committed to providing safe spaces and opportunities for everyone to study and participate in music and the arts.

Rhoda Bernard joined the conservatory in 2004 and is the chair of music education and the director of the conservatory's Programs for Students on the Autism Spectrum. Prior to joining the conservatory, Bernard held faculty positions at New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music, Powers Music School, and the Suzuki School of Newton. She cofounded the Conservatory Lab Charter School, a music-centered charter school in Boston, where she directed the music program and the interdisciplinary Learning Through Music program for five years.

As a musician, Bernard is a vocalist and pianist who specializes in jazz music as well as Jewish music in Yiddish and Hebrew. She has performed with the klezmer bands Klezamir, Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Barry Shapiro Orchestra, and Mashke. She has appeared as a cantorial soloist in synagogues throughout New England. With Klezamir, she recorded two CDs, Klezamir Cooks for Tante Barbara and Back in the Shtetl Again. She studied voice with Dominique Eade, improvisation with Ran Blake and Bevan Manson and Jewish music with Hankus Netsky, as well as Yiddish language, literature, and culture at Columbia University.

Bernard holds an Bachelor of Arts cum laude in government from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Music with academic honors in jazz voice from New England Conservatory. She earned both her Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Bernard is a member of Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) and serves on the board of Eastern district. She is a member of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). She serves on the editorial boards of Visions of Research in Music Education and Massachusetts Music News.

Bernard has presented her research in conferences throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been published in numerous journals, including Music Educators Journal, Music Education Research, Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, The Mountain Lake Reader, and Arts and Learning Research Journal. Bernard lives in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • Outstanding Dissertation, Honorable Mention (Arts and Learning Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association, 2005)
  • Community Service Award (Boston Conservatory, 2011)
  • Spirit Award (Boston Conservatory, 2007)