Dr. Kiernan “Kiki” Marlene Steiner (she/her/siya) is a recent graduate from Arizona State University with her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting. Dr. Kiki is from the Ilocos region of the Philippines, the British Isles, and Germanic Europe, and was born, raised, and nourished on Ho-Chunk Nation land in Southwestern Wisconsin. Her dissertation research was a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of text found on current collegiate choral program websites through a decolonized framework of autoethnography. In addition to her research, she is currently developing workshops on the powerful healing properties of sound and singing in community. Dr. Kiki's medicine is empowering educators to reconnect with their creative power in their classrooms through sharing her personal decolonization journey around releasing shame + internalized oppression, introducing current educators in the K-12 and collegiate settings to fundamental principles of decolonization, and supporting educators in reconceptualizing education for future generations. Continue to follow her decolonization journey on Instagram @decolonizing_kiki!
Raised in the Driftless region of Wisconsin, Kiernan M. Steiner began singing in church at two years old and her love for music never ceased. At the age of three, Kiernan began her music education at Viterbo University studying the violin using the Suzuki method, and started piano at age eight. As she continued her music education in the Viroqua area, she began taking lessons in clarinet, mandolin, voice, and violin. At home, Kiernan self-taught herself guitar and began writing her own songs. Her experiences singing for weekly church services, weddings, and funerals, as well as success in State-wide contests only encouraged her to pursue higher education in Vocal Music.
In May of 2014, Kiernan completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Music Education at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. After graduation, Kiernan taught private voice, vocal directed the musical, and directed the choral program at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua, Wisconsin. While studying at the University of Missouri - Columbia with Dr. R. Paul Crabb, she served as a Choral Teaching Assistant and directed the vocal jazz ensemble, Hitt Street Harmony. Meanwhile, she continued her music ministry at Centralia United Methodist Church and Missouri United Methodist Church. In May 2018, Kiernan received her Master's of Music in Choral Conducting.