Susana M. Lalama, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Music Education and Director of the Petrie School of Music at Converse University. Dr. Lalama teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in instrumental music education and conducting, and supervises student teachers in instrumental music. She also advises graduate music education master’s theses and projects. Prior to her appointment as Director of the Petrie School of Music, she served as the Conductor of the Converse Wind Ensemble.
Dr. Lalama grew up in Miami, Florida and went on to pursue her music education degrees from the University of Miami. Prior to her graduate degrees, she served as Director of Bands at Barbara Goleman High School in Miami Lakes, where under her direction, the wind ensemble, jazz band, and marching band consistently received superior ratings at district and state music performance assessments.
When not teaching in the classroom, Dr. Lalama serves as the adviser of the Collegiate NAfME Converse Chapter. She also serves on the South Carolina Music Educators Association executive board as Past-President of the Higher Education Division and is the Editor of the South Carolina Musician, the official publication of SCMEA. Outside of Converse and SCMEA, Dr. Lalama is the conductor of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
Dr. Lalama is an active scholar, presenter, and researcher in music education. She has presented music education workshops on topics such as strategies for teaching intonation, classroom management for large ensembles, the student teaching experience, and artistry in conducting. Her research interests are centered on caring climates, student social behaviors, and music teacher education.
She has been recognized in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and was named Outstanding Woman of the Year for the Women in Action organization in 2009. She is a member of several national and international professional organizations and has conducted numerous honor bands regionally. Dr. Lalama currently serves as an active band and orchestra clinician, adjudicator, instrumental music education consultant, and mentor to new music teachers.