Future Plans

I have taught violin in several schools in the greater Boston area for several years now, and on the completion of another wonderful school year, I want to create new tools for my students: resources, links, ideas (blog posts about teaching and learning), lessons, and more. This page will be a home for that. I love my students!

If you ever have a question about music, violin, strings, or life in general, or anything at all, email me (you can reach me via the "contact" page), and I'll be happy to help. If your question seems like many people might find it useful, maybe I'll write a post about it.

Teaching for Systems Thinking

Music has the power to connect disciplines on every scale. But for a teacher, music is an immensely useful tool. When I teach music, especially to young children, I teach with the connectivity of music in mind. Music is, of course, a lifetime's worth of study in its own right, but for children it contains pathways into other areas of study too; new ways to learn abstraction or to encode information.

 

When teaching music, I believe an educator has an obligation to teach the musical content first, but with an approach that rewards creative thinking and abstraction, problem-solving and self-reliance. Music is the antidote to standardized testing, but only if it is taught as personalized learning.

AEPR: Talent???

In a few short weeks, I will be a published author! I recently co-wrote an article with my former professor at NEC, Dr. Larry Scripp, and with my classmate Devin Ulibarri. The three of us wrote Thinking Beyond the Myths and Misconceptions of Talent: Creating Music Education Policy that Advances Music’s Essential Contribution to 21st Century Teaching and Learning. The article is set to be published in the Arts Education Policy Review in their next issue.

In the article, we the authors look at some important trends in music education policy. Specifically, we ask: why isn't music a core subject in our schools? It should be. New evidence in the past ten years of research correlates musical training with higher test scores in mathematics AND language. In an era of increasing standardized tests, music builds extramusical skills due to shared fundamental concepts between and among disciplines.

Still, in our modern age, we believe that music is a subject that should only be learned by those with "natural ability" or "talent" for music. In the paper, we the authors humbly state that this sentiment is baloney, and cannot constitute the basis of education policy in America.

Yo Yo Ma at the Kennedy Center

Recently, I watched a talk given by Yo-Yo Ma at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. In it, he talks about the importance of music (and more generally arts) education in this country. The NPR post I link to here does a nice job of summarizing the big ideas (which Ma states near the end of the talk), so I will not repeat them here.

Please, take an hour and watch the talk, and you cannot help but be convinced at how important the arts are in education. I firmly believe music should be a core subject in schools nationwide, and in this articulate and compelling talk Yo-Yo articulates this belief better than I have been able to thus far.

That is why I am sharing the video: I think you should watch it. I will use this blog section of my website to discuss my thoughts on music education and music-in-education, as well as other things I find interesting.

For now, go watch the talk.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/04/09/176681242/can-yo-yo-ma-fix-the-arts