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Elke Jahns-Harms

  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Music and Social Change | College

Elke Jahns-Harms joined New England Conservatory to teach Music and Social Change starting with the 2017/2018 academic year, bringing together her life-long interests in music, poverty alleviation, social justice, and peacebuilding.

Jahns-Harms has worked in Central and South America, East Africa, and Antarctica, on projects related to poverty alleviation, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, and music education.

She performs professionally on classical and Native American flutes and sings in a number of choruses. Jahns-Harms has found music to be a crucial means of connecting with people wherever she goes, and her flutes are among the first things she packs on her travels. She has organized and performed in benefit concerts here and abroad, worked and volunteered as a musical activity leader for children and adults with disabilities, and leads monthly sing-alongs at a local nursing home.

While taking courses in music therapy and music education, she undertook one of the most challenging and fulfilling projects of her life: teaching music to a young deaf boy.

Jahns-Harms holds a Ph.D. in International Development from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, a Master’s in Music, a Master of Public Affairs, and a B.A. with a double major in Geology and Environmental Science and Engineering.