UM Center for Academic Innovation Logo
Graphic of Hatcher


Doctoral of Musical Arts in Piano Pedagogy & Performance, University of Michigan

Master of Music in Piano Performance, University of Michigan

Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Manhattan School of Music

Melissa Coppola

Design Manager

Why I Choose to Work at Academic Innovation

My research interests have primarily centered on interdisciplinary approaches to music performance and education, and so I have always valued collaboration and connection with those outside my field. CAI provides a wealth of opportunity to work with and learn from experts across a wide variety of disciplines, both internally and across the University. As an educator myself, I also believe strongly in CAI’s mission of creating equitable access to lifelong educational opportunities.

Current Roles/Previous Experience

Melissa Coppola (she/they) is a Design Manager at the Center for Academic Innovation. Most recently, they served as Academic Program Manager for the EXCEL Lab at the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (SMTD). There, she led internship programs, professional development immersion trips, and coached 100+ students annually on career development and arts entrepreneurship. Prior to that, they served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. They are also Co-founder and former Executive Director of Girls Rock Detroit, a non-profit dedicated to empowering girls and gender expansive youth through music education.

Melissa hails originally from New Jersey and completed her undergraduate degree in New York City. While classically trained on piano, they are also a self-taught accordionist and drummer, having performed with multiple rock and folk bands over the past 10 years.

Ask Me to Learn About

  • Piano & Keyboard
  • Instruments
  • Drumming
  • Music Education
  • Career Coaching
  • YouTube
  • Productivity Channels
  • Coffee
  • Bread