Mr. Needleman's Bio


Corey Needleman is proud to be a member of the Lake Harriet music faculty! 

This year, Mr. Needleman is also the Jazz Director at Southwest High School. Corey has taught instrumental music at the Elementary and Middle school levels for the past twenty years. In that time, he served as jazz director with the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth housed at Macalaster College. Corey helped to develop and teach the Minneapolis Summer JAM jazz program. Corey has written curriculum for the American Composers Forum as part of a music literacy initiative entitled, St. Paul Listen's and also to accompany a piece entitled, "Alegre," written by acclaimed New York composer Tania Léon as part of the ACF's Band Quest initiative – a project linking professional, contemporary composers with middle level bands. In 2012, Corey served as arranger and music director for the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater’s annual Mayday celebration. In a 2007 partnership with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Corey and members of his Jr. High String Orchestra accompanied the SPCO to Budapest and Vienna for an eight day tour and sight-seeing adventure. TPT made a documentary of the orchestra's adventure entitled, "Budapest to Berlin: On Tour with the SPCO." In his time in teaching, Mr. Needleman has conducted and performed on numerous recordings, hosted several composer residencies, premiered, and sponsored, several commissions of new work for middle level bands and orchestras.

Before coming to Lake Harriet, Corey taught at Folwell Performing Arts Magnet School School and Ramsey International Fine Arts Center, in MPS. He taught at Ramsey Jr. High and Capitol Hill G/T Magnet Schools in St. Paul Public Schools, and before that at Olson Middle School in MPS.

Mr. Needleman's professional affiliations include:  National Assosociate for Music Eductation [NAfME]Minnesota Music Educators Assoc.,  Minnesota Band Directors Association [MBDA], Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association [MNSOTA],  The Jazz Education Network (JEN),  ASCAP, and The Percussive Arts Society.

In addition to his teaching endeavors, Corey is an active professional drummer and percussionist performing throughout the Twin Cities. Corey has a wonderful family with a beautiful and supportive wife, three wonderful boys (the Needleboys), and a rascal Dutch Shepherd dog named, Pippi. He serves as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 1 and in South Minneapolis. Corey and his family are members of the Theravada Buddhist Sangha at Common Ground Meditation Center where he and his wife led both the young children's and pre-teen programs for many years. Furthermore, he enjoys reading, watching dance performances, riding his bicycle, sitting still for long periods while concentrating, carpentry, photography (film and digital), soccer, playing clarinet, and as an Eagle Scout should, he loves camping, backpacking, canoeing, hiking and generally spending time in the outdoors.

Corey studied music at the University of Minnesota earning Bachelors of Music in Education degree, and completed his Masters in Music Education from Boston University. Additionally, he has completed the Jazz at Lincoln Center, Essentially Ellington Band Director Academy in Aspen, CO, and has been fully certified to teach music by the International Baccalaureate Organization in the Middle Years Programme.

Corey is delighted to be teaching at LHCS, where he can nourish his passion to provide a meaningful and high-quality performance education for developing young musicians. He believes educating the heart is equally important to educating the mind.