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First year dramatic performance major Isaac Hickox-Young.

CCM DMA Student Natalie Douglass Receives Fulbright Research Grant

Natalie Douglass is the recipient of a prestigious 2015-2016 Fulbright Research Grant. Douglass is graduating with her doctorate in Horn Performance from CCM in May of 2015.

While in Hungary, Douglass will earn her Kodály Music Pedagogy diploma at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, which she plans to use as postdoctoral research for her dissertation topic: aural teaching techniques for the French horn.

After completing her Fulbright grant, Douglass plans to use Kodály methods to create brass study materials and method books based on this vocal and musicianship training. This will in turn help to improve the way brass performance is taught to young performers. Kodaly Methodology has been used for decades in choral and general music education to develop musicianship skills for vocalists.

Douglass explains what initially drew her to CCM:

Natalie Douglass
“I have always been interested in horn pedagogy, and I have admired Professor Randy Gardner since high school when I bought his book Mastering the Horn's Low Register. I heard him speak on beginning horn pedagogy at the 2008 International Horn Society Symposium and knew that he would be an incredible mentor for someone looking to teach in higher education like myself.”

Douglass served as Gardner’s graduate assistant for the past three years and has absolutely loved it. She says,

“Studying with Professor Gardner has challenged and inspired me in every best way and I am continually grateful to have worked so closely with him.”

She also had the privilege to serve as both the Horn graduate assistant and the Brass Methods Music Education graduate assistant. Douglass says, “the classes that I get to teach are the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences. It's a riot to start your day with brass rookies playing ‘Go Tell Aunt Rhodie!’"

Douglass feels that her incredible mentorships at CCM prepared her for a career in music and for this Fulbright opportunity. She says that “in addition to building me as a complete musician and horn player, Professor Gardner has helped me prepare lectures, grant proposals and articles that have created amazing opportunities in the international horn world. I will graduate from CCM feeling like I have a solid musical and pedagogical background on which to base my career, and with a network that already extends beyond the CCM community.”

Once Douglass has finished her DMA, she plans to teach at the Kendall Betts Horn Camp this summer in New Hampshire, where she has implemented a performance-based ear training curriculum. Douglass will also speak at the International Horn Society International Symposium in Los Angeles this August, on a separate study she has conducted on the relationships between speech, speech therapy and brass articulation.

Douglass earned a M.M. in French Horn Performance and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at Urbana, she studied horn with Kaz Machala, formerly of the Krakow Radio Symphony, and started playing Assistant Principal horn with the Champaign Urbana Symphony and taught a large private junior high and high school horn studio. She also studied with Bernhard Scully, whom Douglass greatly admired for his solo playing and work with the Canadian Brass. She has performed in Oman, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, and was the opening lecture at the International Horn Society Symposium in London.

CCM Professor of Horn Randy Gardner says, “Natalie Douglass is a truly exceptional musician, scholar and person who has a deep passion for teaching. The creativity, enthusiasm, pro-active approach and upbeat demeanor that characterize Natalie’s work as my Graduate Teaching Assistant enhanced our horn program tremendously. She will be sorely missed at CCM and we all wish her the very best as she enters the next exciting phase of her life."


CCM students interested in applying for Fulbright grants or other similarly prestigious scholarships and awards can find resources and assistance for doing so in UC’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.

Get to know all of UC’s 2014-15 Fulbright Award Recipients by visiting