Music and Language Education

Vocalist - Spanish & English

About Us

As of August, 2020 Leslie K. Haynes has been a doctoral student in ethnomusicology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York where her research focuses on intersections of language, music, and dance as unifying and healing community practices in Africa and the diaspora. A recent graduate of the MA program in Jazz History and Research (Rutgers University, 2019) Haynes's research identified best practices in utilizing music to generate positive flow experiences for both educators and learners. Her use of creative means which includes the notion of improvisation has helped to augment language acquisition by optimizing the benefits of cultural and linguistic sensitivity. Upon receiving an MAT in TESOL (University of Southern California, 2011), Haynes has facilitated language acquisition using music and other methodologies to benefit learners from across the globe.


Beginning her teaching career as a volunteer at The International Center in New York, Inc.. under the direction of the late Mira Erickson, (currently known as The International Center of Catholic Charities Community Services) the Center has featured language programs for international adult learners from places such as Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Burundi, China, Dominican Republic, France, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, Uruguay, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Colombia, Venezuela and others. Leslie has a keen respect and interest in the language and diversity of various cultures, and shares her curiosity in each class. Students have referred to her as "dynamic!"


Having spent her entire life as a vocalist within a variety of settings, from solo and quartets, vocal ensembles, and both traditional and contemporary instrumental and choral groups, Leslie has also spent several years prior to the pandemic singing as a member of the Times Square Church's 150-voice gospel choir in greater New York City. Additionally, her extensive travel experiences affording opportunities to be immersed in diverse cultures through traditions in music, dance, language, and food helping her to develop keen cultural and linguistic sensitivities. In New York, Leslie has been dedicated to working with a number of community-based organizations in music and language (English and Spanish) composed of adults, youth, and children from all backgrounds.


As an extension of her education as well as her family's legacy, Haynes has drawn upon her heritage to impact learners through creative means including content- and task-based curricula using social-cultural theories and assisted performance with her students. She has been committed to meeting the language needs of her clients; whether preparing for the TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT or GRE exams, increasing vocabulary usage, or improving pronunciation. The English language as it is spoken, written, read, and heard are skills we help students to strengthen. Likewise, the musical language as spoken, sung, or played and listened to will lower the affective filters to learning, and enhance success!

Teaching experience includes courses at St. John's and Rutgers universities

  • Vocal Ensembles
  • Music Appreciation
  • Gospel and Jazz Histories
  • Dynamic Listening/Speaking: Lectures to Presentations
  • Private Tutoring (Pronunciation/Accent Reduction)

Current Affiliation:

The Graduate Center

City University of New York

365 Fifth Avenue

New York, New York

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