Ruth Cavanaugh Professional Headshot
Music and Dance
College of Arts and Sciences
Courses Taught
University Supervisor K-12 Music Education, Nafme Advisor
Research Interests
Interdisciplinary Arts Education
Music of Latin America

B.S. Instrumental Music Education, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 
M.A. Choral Music Education, Vandercook College of Music, Chicago, Illinois 


Flutist Ruth Cavanaugh (she/her) is passionate about mentoring future music educators in her role at NEIU. Her three-decade career in the Elgin District U-46 Public Schools included Middle and High School Choral Directing, Instrumental Coaching and Advanced Placement Music Theory, as well as Elementary General Music.  

As the Director of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra Flute Choir, Cavanaugh enjoys programming repertoire by living composers. She began playing cuatro, recorder and flute in Caracas, Venezuela, as a child and is currently studying Brazilian Choro music. She welcomes musical collaborations with musicians of all ages and enjoys teaching privately.  

Her awards include the Surdna Arts Teacher Fellowship, the Northwestern University Music Teacher Fellowship and the 2022 Elgin Symphony Orchestra Arts Educator Award.

Room FA 136
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

Office Hours
By appointment
Main Campus