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… Continue reading My Education Philosophy for Musical Experience

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2021: Democracy or Fascism?

The four major American political factions are progressivism, neoliberalism, conservatism, and fascism. Below, I will examine our current political crisis through the lens of these four factions and three of their defining values: social, fiscal, and procedural. In a perfect democracy, voters’ preferences would determine elections. In America, those with money to spare can shape… Continue reading 2021: Democracy or Fascism?

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Education & Fascism

John Dewey wrote in Experience & Education, “The question I would raise concerns why we prefer democratic and humane arrangements to those, which are autocratic and harsh… Can we find any reason that does not ultimately come down to the belief that democratic social arrangements promote a better quality of human experience, one which is… Continue reading Education & Fascism

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My Teaching Values

Consider context Music, sound, and art as lenses for understanding our world Listen -> Play -> Create 1. Consider contextThe macro context: consider power, privilege, oppression, democracy, and morality. Try to do what is right to me.The specific context: consider health, safety, and the wants, needs, and experiences of the student and community. Assess and… Continue reading My Teaching Values

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Morality in Education

My school experience was very individualistic. I wanted to do well, and I did not really know or care how others were doing. My school music experience was competitive. I wanted to be better than everyone else so I could get into the best ensembles and make all-state. I wanted to climb to the top.… Continue reading Morality in Education

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How can I affect change?

Once you start identifying problems, it may feel overwhelming. Consider pursuing change from the bottom up: All of humanity All of America National education associations Your national music ed association Your state music ed association Your local community Your district Your school Your music program Your self Start by defining your own hierarchy, naming specific… Continue reading How can I affect change?

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In what ways does your music program teach white supremacy?

When I finished high school, I thought it was normal and justifiable for white forms of music and music making to dominate school music. I thought it was normal and justifiable for white students to be disproportionately sorted into advanced ensembles and to primarily interact with the students most like myself. This just scratches the… Continue reading In what ways does your music program teach white supremacy?

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Beyond Whiteness

This summer my wife and I moved from Chicago, where I was a freelance singer, composer, and private teacher, to Champaign-Urbana so I could pursue a masters in music education at the University of Illinois. Perhaps the most impactful thing I read this semester was “Listening for Whiteness” by Julia Koza. In it she describes… Continue reading Beyond Whiteness

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