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2017 - Deborah Pavelka Music Scholarship
I am a dedicated and passionate instructor who wants to help students, regardless of background and opportunity. I want to share my music passion with the world. In 2019, I graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX with a Bachelor of Music degree with a double major in Instrumental Music Education and Spanish. I have gotten the chance to perform at the International Tuba Euphonium Festival at Emory University in Atlanta, GA back in summer 2017 to become a better tuba player and overall brass player.
Back in 2018, I was in some practicum classes through Trinity University. I got to see how it was to be a music teacher and felt a calling more so than when I decided to major in music education back in high school. Then 2 years later in 2020, right before COVID hit worldwide, I got to continue observations in north Austin through the Texas Teachers Alternative Certification Program. But this time, I was given the privilege to help a group of students first hand. Now fast-forward to March 2021, I was hired by Presidio ISD to teach middle school band. From then until May 2022, I got to teach middle school band along with choir and mariachi. I also occasionally helped at the local high school. What I have learned while teaching middle school, especially with beginners, is that playing along can be helpful initially. Once the student gets the hang of what they are playing, I phase out of playing my instrument. As for older middle school students as well as high school students, I did not make it a habit to play as much as I did helping troubleshoot areas of growth when needed.
For beginners, I personally recommend the Essential Elements Book. If you are barely starting on an instrument, make sure you get book 1. Aside from the fact that I was taught with that book when I was in middle school, I taught with that particular method book to my beginners in the 2021-2022 school year. For intermediate students such as older middle school students, Essential Elements Books 2 and 3 would be my personal recommendation. For older students, especially high schoolers, I like to use a blue book called Foundations for Superior Performance (Warm-Ups and Technique for Band) by Richard Williams and Jeff King as the techniques in that book are more suited for what a high school-level player should be expected to play. As for adults, I recommend Brass Gym as well as books from made by university professors and other professional instrumentalists. Moving beyond warm-ups and technique mastery, I like to find different solos that appropriately challenge and help hone on a skill that my student is focusing on working on.
Speaking from experience, a student learns best at their own pace. With private music lessons, it is a lot easier to identify what skills a student is good and as well as what needs to be worked on. When working with a new student, I like to hear what they have, so that way I can determine what I need to work on with said student. Because in order for a teacher to be as effective as can be for the student, they must get to know the student as a player and see what they already know so that the student is properly challenged and not bored or frustrated. In practice, I have used a question-styled lesson in a large classroom setting. However when working with individual students, I will listen and give feedback on what techniques a student should work on to efficiently improve on playing their respective instrument.
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