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Alena is an Associate professor and the Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


Originally from Belarus, Alena Holmes started her career in her native country where she taught general music, choir, music theory and piano, worked as a musician and singer with popular bands and concert organizations and had numerous appearances on popular Belarusian TV and radio shows. She then worked as a music teacher, singer and musician in China, Bahrain, Italy and United States. An active teacher, clinician, researcher and musician, Dr. Holmes has given over 60 presentations throughout the United States and in Malaysia, Italy, Greece, Australia, Brazil, Ireland and the United Kingdom. She is published in multiple national and international journals including Music Educators Journal, Journal of Education and Training Studies, Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association, GSTF International Journal of Music, Wisconsin School Musician as well as a variety of conference proceedings. She is the author of the chapter in the  Oxford Handbook on Assessment Policy and Practice in Music Education.

Her primary research areas include early childhood music education, multicultural music education, music education in Eastern Europe, internationalized approach to instruction, world music preferences, undergraduate research in music and autobiographical studies. Dr. Holmes has received several awards, including the Excellence in Research from the UW-Whitewater Music Department and the UW-Whitewater College of Arts and Communication; Excellent in Service from the UW-Whitewater Music Department and David Wilmor Prize for Excellence in Music Education from the University of Florida.

She served as Early Childhood State Chair at the Wisconsin Music Education Association and has been on advisory board of Music Educators Journal. In addition to her research and teaching, Alena Holmes is a singer and songwriter performing in educational, professional, and community contexts throughout the U.S.

Alena Holmes lives in downtown Madison and is a mother to two creative and musical children: son Anthony and daughter Tamara. She is in the process of recording her original album and children's music albums.






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