Beethoven's Buddies


CSA Faculty BauerDr. Beth A. Bauer, DME, NCTM

On faculty since 2005


  • DME, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
  • MM, Northern Illinois University
  • BA, Wheaton College Conservatory of Music

Professional Memberships

  • National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy, Special Needs Research Committee Chair (NCKP)
  • Music Teachers National Association, Special Needs Research Committee Co-Chair (MTNA) 
  • Suzuki Associations of America

About Dr. Beth A. Bauer

Beth is an instructor in pedagogy at the Wheaton College Conservatory where she teaches Introduction to Pedagogy, Studio Administration, Group Instruction, and Music to Special Learners. She also oversees pedagogy student teachers and music internships. In addition to her faculty work in the Conservatory, Dr. Bauer is the founder and an instructor in Beethoven's Buddies-a music program for students with developmental delays-at the Community School of the Arts. She also teaches pre-college piano to beginning through advanced students in CSA.

Beth's work with students with special needs has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Clavier Companion Journal, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Indiana University Alumni Magazine, The Daily Herald, and Wheaton Magazine (alumni magazine), the 2011, 2013 NCKP and the 2012, 2013 MTNA conventions, and have won the Wheaton-Warrenville District 200 concerto competition. Several of her special needs students performed at MTNA, 2013, and one performed at NCKP 2013. She holds certifications in Orff, Kodaly, Suzuki and the National Certification with the MTNA organization. Dr. Bauer is a sought after clinician and speaker to professional teacher's organizations and parent groups. She has been teaching piano for 22 years and working with students with special needs for 18 years. Beethoven's Buddies recently received the distinction of being named one of the "Spectacular Educational Programs" in the August, 2013 Wheaton/Glen Ellyn Glancer Magazine. Dr. Bauer's award include full tuition for both Master's and Doctoral work, as well as FOX News' (Indianapolis) Heroes Among Us.

Beth is a native of Wheaton, Illinois.  She and her husband, Todd Starowitz, live in Wheaton with their three-year-old daughter, Emma. Beth also teaches preschool Sunday School at College Church in Wheaton.


CSA Faculty CooperKaitlin Cooper, BME

On faculty since 2007


  • BME, Wheaton College Conservatory of Music

Professional Memberships

  • National Association for Music Education
  • National Education Association
  • Illinois Education Association

About Kaitlin Cooper

Kaitlin teaches piano in the Beethoven's Buddies Program, as well as teaching the program's chimes class.

Kaitlin is active in area schools, having taught at two therapeutic day schools and at the junior high school level. She has also been involved with a local disability ministry, and in 2005 gave a presentation entitled "Leading a Church Music Program for People with Special Needs" at a multi-church conference. She has worked as a respite care worker and ABA therapist with both children and adults with disabilities, and has extensive training and experience teaching students with autism and cognitive delays. She plays the flute as her secondary instrument and was involved in both symphonic band and choral groups in college.

Kaitlin was recently married to her husband Patrick, and they are both active at their church, where Kaitlin sings in the choir.

"I love my job at CSA because I have the privilege of giving students of all ability levels the opportunity to create music, grow in creativity, and experience the sense of accomplishment that comes with performing." 

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