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Meet Elizabeth!

Hi! I'm Elizabeth. I am an elementary music teacher, mother to twin girls, world traveler, and lover of crafty and organizational things. Welcome to Organized Chaos!

I love all of the hats that I wear and believe strongly in the importance of each. Whether it's in my classroom, at home, or here on the internet, I also believe in the equal importance of both organization/ structure and creative/ artistic freedom. Balancing work and home, and balancing structure and freedom, are lifelong pursuits.

The goal of Organized Chaos is to help music teachers embrace the chaos of creativity through purposeful organization and simple ideas!

On my blog, I share lesson ideasbehavior management strategies, lesson planning and curriculum design ideas, home organization ideas, and even parenting tips. I also have developed downloadable resources focused on general music curriculum, teacher planners, world music, and more. My hope is that everything I create helps other music teachers find their own purposeful balance.

Want to know more about who I am and what "makes me tick"? Here's a little peek into my world:

I am a single mother to twin girls born in January 2012. They are absolutely the loves of my life, and I love being a mom! I'm not going to make it all sound like puppy dogs and rainbows- I will tell you flat-out that my first year of motherhood was pure agony in many ways- but wow, there is just no way to explain how much I love those girls. They constantly amaze me with how much they are learning, growing, and changing, and I am passionate about being the best mother I can possibly be for them.

In the course of my teaching career I have taught general music classes to ages ranging from preschool to 8th grade. I have taught in Asia and the United States, public and private, British and American curricula, in classrooms in the basement and on the third floor. In my current position I teach K-6 general music, 3-4 grade choir, 5-6 grade choir, a step group, and a percussion ensemble. My first love is children, my second is teaching, and my third is music. I have training in Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Suzuki methods, and I like to take the best of each to put into my classroom. My primary goal is to help students discover their own unique way to enjoy music, deep in the core of their being. I believe that everyone has a place in the world of music where they can excel and flourish, and my job is to help students find theirs, and celebrate others' as well.

I am a United States citizen, but grew up primarily in Japan (with a year in Scotland thrown in for good measure). I went to Japanese public schools, surrounded by only native Japanese people in a small, almost-rural community. Japanese is still my heart language and my thinking, behaviors, beliefs, and world views are dramatically shaped by the Japanese culture. When it came time to student teach for my undergraduate program, I headed to Seoul, South Korea. I loved it so much I ended up turning right back around and going back after graduation, and continued teaching in international schools (mostly American schools) for 6 years. In 2012 I moved to Connecticut, where I am now living close to my family.

I have always been a crafter. I've kept scrapbooks since I was a child and have always loved playing around with art projects. When I first became a working mom I thought I had to set those hobbies aside, but I've found a new way to express myself artistically in a productive way through my planner! I absolutely love the combination of organization and creativity that I've found through this new passion.

The absolute best part of Organized Chaos is the connections I make with other people. Music teaching and parenting are both jobs that can be pretty lonely and underappreciated, but commiserating and sharing ideas with people like you has been such a wonderful and fulfilling experience! I hope you'll join our community here. You can sign up for the email newsletter, or connect on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, or Twitter. I hope you find something useful for organizing your own chaos!


  1. What a fascinating, wonderful, and talented person you are!

  2. Hi Elizabeth, I have stumbled upon your blog through Pinterest, particularly your post on jobs in the music classroom, which led to your color team system (ala Hogwarts Houses). I teach K - 5th grade general music from a cart. I travel from classroom to classroom with my Wenger teacher taxi. I can't wait to learn more from your blog. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful musings and ideas!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting :) I tip my hat to you- teaching from a cart makes the already challenging job of music teaching about one bazillion times harder! I'm so glad you're here and hope to get to know you and learn from you through this online community!

  3. Hi Elizabeth,
    I'm curious about how you came to grow up in Japan. Was it due to your parents' line of work?

  4. Hi Elizabeth - I stumbled upon your blog looking for music teacher planners - I have taught general music K - 12, band, choir in all setting - rural, suburban, urban and at the collegiate level. I am currently building a choir program and am wondering if you know of any bloggers, tpt, or great resources for organizer chaos choir directors at the high school level? I'm on Facebook in those communities but my style matches yours! Single mom, etc etc etc feel free to email me personally. I survived distance learning and will most likely be doing a hybrid this coming year - planning early! Thanks! I'd love to share ideas with you as well!

    1. Hi Charlene! I'd love to connect with you and chat about potential choir resources, planning ahead, etc. My email is caldwellorganizedchaos (AT) gmail (DOT) com if you'd like to send me an email! Thanks for reaching out.

  5. Hi Elizabeth, I found your blog while researching about On-Line resources. Thanks for all you're doing to help other music educators and people in general with your great ideas. I'm impressed how you are able to do this and balance everything else in your life. Hats off to you! Would it be allright if I e-mailed you, also? I see your e-mail in the previous answer to Charlene. I have some questions for you. Thanks, Lisa

  6. Hi Elizabeth,
    My name is Irene, I am elementary school music teacher. I found your blog a few years ago and am following it all this time. Your amazing ideas, creative approach, close attention to children psychology, ability to create close relationship with students, high professional standards and knowledge of world wide music traditions are exceptional. Your blog is amazingly beneficial to me.
    I have professional question and I feel that your advice would tremendously help me. Can I email you?