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BA, Music Eduction, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
2014 - Teacher of the Year, Thornwood Elementary School
I have been teaching lessons privately in addition to working full-time as a music teacher for more than 20 years. I enjoy making myself available as a private lesson teacher as a means of providing extra income for my family. I have remained active as a musician myself through performing both at church and with the Lonestar Symphonic Band. My passion is in instrumental music and so I left a 12-year career with the Spring Branch Independent School District where I taught elementary music in order to go to a small charter school in Katy to start a band program for them.
My teaching experience dates back to my college days as I began teaching as an instructor for a local high school marching band, leading their woodwind sectionals and marching clinics. I began teaching full-time in 1992 and temporarily left full-time teaching in 1998 when my daughter was born. It was at this time that I first opened my home up to teaching privately. This ended up to be a great experience, and when I moved to Texas the following year, I began teaching with the Katy ISD private lesson program with a full-time load of students. This I did for several years until I took a full-time elementary teaching position with Spring Branch ISD. Once I began that job, I only kept a handful of students, and these students were always a blessing to me. Teaching privately affords me the opportunity to do special things for my family which I wouldn't be able to do otherwise.
For teaching clarinet students who are beginners, I use the book authored by Texas Lutheran University clarinet professor, Paula Corley entitled "So You Want to Play the Clarinet". Once the student has progressed to have a grasp of the fundamentals, I usually move to the Rubank books because of their varied content. If the student is working with a school group, we will sometimes work on that repertoire, but improving technique in general is always my focus. If I were to teach any adults (which I have not had the opportunity to do yet!), I think I would still start with Corley's book but then after that investigate what kinds of music they're hoping to play and touch on those things as well as work on advancing technique. I hope, too, that all of my students have an ensemble to play in whether they're homeschooled, attend a school, or are an adult learner.
I love to see students develop in their musical skills! I maintain a positive and fun atmosphere in my teaching and can work with virtually any learning style. I do expect my students to practice so that their lesson is worth the money they have put into it and the time I have set aside for it. At each lesson, I review what was assigned at the previous lesson. Ideally, these items are touched on briefly and then we move on! I love to find ways to reward students for making each lesson successful and meaningful.
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