Improvising in Complete Sentences
In college I primarily composed in Finale. Because of how that software works, I often composed one note at a time. I was a slow composer. Today, my design process involves improvising in “complete sentences”. I sit at my keyboard and make up entire songs, being sure to record my playing in MIDI so that…
Three Rules of Growth
I would like to propose three rules of growth:The more you enjoy something, the more of it you will do.The more you do something, the better at it you will get.The more you can draw on the experiences of others, the less you will plateau. Some new skills can be mastered in a day. Others…
Album out now!
Dead Ends & New Beginnings, my new album of piano improvisations, is out now! I will have more to say about the process, challenges, and what I learned in the coming weeks, but for now you can read more about the project and listen here!
How to support singers navigating voice change
I’m going to try to put you back inside the head of an adolescent choir member:You arrive at middle school. The difficulty of the schoolwork starts to ramp up, and grades become more important, increasing the pressure. Puberty starts. You start forming more intense relationships with your peers. Your body starts to change, and you…
What about qualitative assessment?
Teachers assess for multiple audiences. The best way to assess for grading, a teacher’s own use, and for administrators may each be distinct. But more time on assessment means less time for teaching and learning. How might an educator balance these? What about qualitative assessment of musical growth? Music teachers could document student process and…
My Education Philosophy for Musical Experience
My musical objective is to help students discover enjoyment and develop comfort in new musical experiences. Comfort and enjoyment lead to consistent and healthy experiences, which leads to musical growth. To achieve this, I first seek to understand their prior musical experiences and current musical comforts and enjoyments. I help them demonstrate and appreciate these…
The Colors of my Curriculum
When designing music curriculum, I have an almost overwhelming array of options. To help, I am organizing these options like colors on a palette. These colors can then be mixed and used to paint the curriculum for a course, unit, or individual class. Colors of Musical Experience Aesthetic experienceMusical instruments (performance, ensembles, for self, others,…
Is there anything more fundamental than developing sensitivity to sound?
We all experience the world differently. From a very young age, I was surrounded by music, aware of its presence, interested in it, and developing a sensitivity to it. I believe this is why, growing up, my musical development was far ahead of my peers. I was constantly attuned to and critically engaging with the…
De-centering Faith in Education
Our education system is currently built on a faith-based model. Students who are successful learn to efficiently memorize facts but not to question what they are told. My own school experience almost always valued memorization over higher-order thinking. In the process, teachers neglect many other cognitive skills and habits. Faith accepting something at face value,…
Proposal for an Association for Student Composers
Rationale Creating original music is a national arts standard and is as foundational to music experience as listening and playing. But unlike most states, the Colorado Music Educators Association does not provide opportunities for student composers. The purpose of this proposed organization is to promote the inclusion and practice of creating original music in school…