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SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Bachelor of Music in Music Education (1994) Master of Science - Music Education (2005) Master of Science - Instructional Design, Development & Evaluation (2005)
CERTIFICATION: Music (505, 506) Instrumental – State of WI CERTIFICATION: Music K-12 - State of NY ADJUDICATOR - Woodwinds Wisconsin School Music Association 2012-Present ADJUDICATOR - Woodwinds New York State School Music Association 2007-2012 Google Certified Educator Level 1
I have a lifelong commitment to teaching music and teaching the complete individual. In 1994 I graduated with my Bachelors in Music Education from Syracuse University, and continued my studies with a Masters of Science in Music Education and Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation. Through my career, i've taught music at all levels, from elementary music classes to middle and high school band, and even orchestra. All ages beginner to advanced have been a part of my 15 years of classroom teaching. I am also experienced in online teaching and lessons, having taught music classes online through my district. I also maintain a busy adjudication schedule for solo and ensemble music, which has opened me to other pieces, ensembles and instruments. A seasoned drum corps performer and teacher, I have an extensive background in the marching musical arts. Many of my ensembles as both a performer and educator have been state ranked, rated high or awarded championship status based on their preparation and experience. I come from a background of teaching where individual or small group lessons were commonplace in NY. As such, my passion is strong to do that in Wisconsin where this is a rarity.
I'm a firm believer in taking a student where they are and building off of their interests. Finding what a student is interested in and using that as a starting point is a part of my teaching approach. At the same time, there are some things that are critical to be taught at every level that should be incorporated on some level so there's a holistic and balanced education. I find a combination of fundamental skills, scales, music theory, some history, critical thinking and analysis combined with whatever solo or individual study from school or other sources. With my experience adjudicating solo and ensemble work in both Wisconsin and New York, I have a combined 11 years in preparing and working with students for success in solo and ensemble work, with many of them going on to State rankings or Honors ensembles based on their preparation. I actively make sure they are aware and abreast of these opportunities!
With beginning and other school age students, I work with any lesson book or material given to them from their director or teacher, regardless of the method book. From my learning, teaching experience and work in music retail I am familiar with most of the method books in use, especially Standards of Excellence, Rubank, Essential Elements and others. I also am knowledgeable in other intermediate and advanced books, such as Klosé, Arbans, and Clarke. Along with this, I incorporate online resources to enhance the experience with music theory and history resources. For other ages, it's a matter of finding common ground and building on that for their individualized experience.
Finding the starting place for any student is important, regardless of age. As a child of an adult learner who took lessons in guitar and voice, I understand the distinction between adult and younger learners. The pacing, goal setting and choice of materials and resources is important to keep interest and spark inspiration to practice and maintain growth. I strive to make sure each person gets an experience crafted and prepared for them through gauging interests, setting realistic goals and being aware of what kind fo time commitment they have to meet their goals.
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