Photo of Joanie Calem

Joanie Calem

Interactive Music & Storytelling
Home Franklin Columbus Ohio Work Phone: (614) 208-6731

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Joanie Calem has been a performing musician, music teacher, and storyteller since 1983. She graduated from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Israel, with a major in piano and went on to study music education at the Levinsky Teaching Seminar in Ramat Aviv, Israel. She studied composition with Israeli composer Hagar Kadima in Tel Aviv, Israel, and completed her degree, Music in Community Building, at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Having lived overseas for 23 years, Joanie is well versed in multi-cultural experiences and cross-cultural interchanges. Joanie moved to the Columbus, Ohio, area in 1998 and has been teaching music and performing all over the Midwest ever since.

Joanie’s goal in every teaching residency and performance is to share the magic of music with students/audiences, using music as a platform for community building and learning non-musical topics. Her programs are always interactive, providing multiple opportunities for participants to solidify their learning experience through active involvement, be it through adding on-the-spot new verses to “zipper” songs, participating in body percussion or hand movement accompaniments, as puppeteers, or acting out roles in song stories.

Joanie is experienced in using multiple learning styles to teach inclusive classrooms and making sure that everyone has comfortable access to the learning material being shared. With a background in music, special education, and community building, Joanie is also sensitive to the non-academic factors that can impede children’s learning, such as learning challenges, Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, PTSD, ACES, etc. Joanie is able to quickly adapt her programs to incorporate the needs, personalities, and learning styles that the children and/or classrooms are presenting and adjust her program to appropriately reach those present through her music and stories.

The award of this badge shows that the artist participated in a two-day workshop at the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning that focused on understanding arts integration, domains of youth development, behavior management, academic and fine arts standards, outcomes and indicators, and learning strategies and activities. The earner developed a program plan to apply these concepts in their work with students, earning a score of 75% or greater related to specific scoring criteria.

Grade Levels/Age Groups

  • PreK-Kindergarten
  • Grades 1-3
  • Grades 4-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12
  • Young Adults
  • Adults
  • Older Adults

Facilities and Resources Required

  • Tables
  • Performance space
  • Chairs

Organizational Involvement


Upon request






Video courtesy of the teaching artist. This video sample of Joanie is of a drawing story
song, adapted from the Indian folktale “The Seven Blind Men and the Elephant.” This was
part of a summer library show at the Pataskala Library.