Teaching Artists

Troubadour Teaching Artists are professional writers and musicians who are also experienced teachers able to engage students of diverse backgrounds and abilities in the creative writing process. They combine passion for their art with knowledge of Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and best practices in the classroom.


Victor Cockburn

Victor Cockburn
Executive Director, Co-Founder, Senior Teaching Artist

Victor has been combining his talents and expertise as a musician, lyricist, producer, performer and teacher to develop and present programs in schools since 1972. He received the Boston Parents’ Paper Entertainer of the Year Award in 1991 and published “The Use of Folk Song and Songwriting in the Classroom” in the Harvard Education Review. A segment on Victor’s work in schools was included in the PBS series, Art to Heart, Early Childhood Creativity. As Executive Producer of Troubadour’s Talking Stone Productions, he has produced audio recordings of hundreds of multicultural narratives, poems and songs for major educational publishers, including Scholastic, MacMillan, Hampton-Brown, Jostens Learning, Harcourt-Brace, Silver Burdett Ginn and Curriculum Associates, as well as 60 episodes of “Try It!” a weekly educational program broadcast on Brookline Cable Television.



Judy SteinberghJudith Steinbergh
Director of Writing Programs, Co-Founder, Senior Teaching Artist

Judith has been active in the field of literary arts for over thirty-five years as a poet, writer, lyricist and teacher. Judith Steinbergh was selected as Brookline’s first Poet Laureate for a term of two years in April 2012.

Judith was Poet-in-Residence in the Brookline Schools from 1986 to 1992 rotating through all grades K-12 and all Brookline schools, leading poetry worksh ops, partnering with teachers, creating curriculum, and co-coordinating readings and poetry anthologies. She also taught part-time at Driscoll School between 1985 and 2006 and continues to lead poetry workshops at several Brookline schools. Judith leads a poetry seminar for teachers through Teachers as Scholars, a consortium of local school systems, providing professional development to teachers.

She has published a book of poems for children (Marshmallow Worlds); four books of poems for adults (Lillian Bloom: A Separation, Motherwriter, A Living Anytime, and Writing My Will); and three textbooks on teaching poetry writing to children (Beyond Words: Writing Poems with Children co-authored with Elizabeth McKim; Reading and Writing Poetry: A Guide for Teachers, Grades K-4, Scholastic Books; and Reading and Writing Poetry with Teenagers, Walsh Publishers, co-authored with Fredric Lown). Judith received a Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship and the prestigious Spencer Foundation Grant for her research on “Poetry and the Developing Child” and has published articles in the Harvard Educational Review, the NCTE Language Arts and Reading Teacher, among other professional journals.


Illene_MillerIlene Miller
Teaching Artist

Ilene has been a classroom teacher for more than 35 years and is a contributor to the book, The Writing Process in Action. She was co-director of The Freelance Players, a theater group for children ages 8-12, and teaches writing in all genres to teachers and students.




ClaireClaire Gervais
Teaching Artist

Claire, from Sandpoint, ID, is a teacher and arts advocate who is thrilled to be a part of the Troubadour team. A graduate of Lewis-Clark State College, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2010, she has recently completed her M.Ed at Lesley University, studying Curriculum & Instruction with a Specialization in Arts Integration. Claire is interested in creating meaningful learning experiences for all learners through visual arts, movement, music, poetry, drama and storytelling.


Jessie BrownJessica Brown
Teaching Artist

Jessie has been teaching poetry in schools in Massachusetts and California since 1984. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College, she is bilingual in Spanish, having also studied at University of Cordoba. She has received an Academy of American Poets Award and has had translations and poems published in local and national magazines such as Soundings East and American Poetry Review.


Elizabeth_McKimElizabeth McKim
Teaching Artist

Elizabeth McKim is an engaging poet-performer and teacher, well-known to Boston audiences and students of all ages. She works out of the oral tradition of song, story, and poem. She has published four books of poetry and has worked with countless children and teachers throughout the USA and internationally. She is Poet Laureate at the European Graduate School EGS and an adjunct Faculty member at Lesley University in the Department of Creative Arts in Learning. Elizabeth has performed her poetry in venues around the world and is author of four books of poetry and Beyond Words, Writing Poems with Children, a textbook on teaching poetry writing to children, co-authored with Judith Steinbergh. Her most recent book of poems is The Red Thread.



Site by Marlena Hubley at marlena.hubley@sloan.mit.edu.