Forward Thinking

Today seems like a good day to reflect on the events of the week and take inventory on current projects and research as well as assess where I am and where to go next.

Other than suffering through almost a week of vertigo and having to spend a majority of my time on the couch because moving induced this awful feeling of death. If you’ve never experienced vertigo, you are very lucky. I had, in all seriousness, thought that I finally lost it and went crazy….especially when I started seeing things move.

Not so pleasant.

I have only been able to play for a few minutes, which I really disliked. Essentially, my health is important and that comes first…or something like that.

For the past few days, I’ve been re-evaluating my course curriculum for my applied lessons as well as for my methods classes. I realized how much I miss teaching at Ithaca College. I taught 3 sections of clarinet methods to undergraduate music education majors and they were, without a doubt, my favorite classes to teach. Ithaca designed its music education curriculum around the philosophy that if you can play the instrument you can teach it. All music education majors were required to pass proficiencies in all woodwinds and brass before allowed to student teach.

For me, this presented a variety of interesting challenges…try teaching a tuba player how to play the clarinet.

I loved the fact that I had complete freedom to design and structure the curriculum according to my own background. My own philosophy was that each student would not only leave my class being able to play the instrument  but able to teach it as well as recognize and diagnose problems.

All of my students passed the proficiency exams with flying colors. I was proud of every one of my students. My evaluations were hilarious  many of which I can’t submit for job applications because they’re, well, a little interesting. Many students would depict their evaluation in a comic rendering.

And to this day, I still have students, who are band directors throughout the U.S., calling/emailing for help. It’s a great feeling to know that I have made a difference. It’s extremely humbling.

My goals for the upcoming week are to assess those successful techniques in my methods course and weave them into my curriculum and course study.  It’s important, as I redevelop my curriculum, to make sure that there is a considerable amount of focus on experiential learning.

Lastly, I decided that I am going to slowly edit and upload the resources and articles I compiled and wrote for my methods class on my website. It’ll be quite an undertaking, but I think well worth it. Not only for me, but also for my past students and many more.

Remember: Live, Love, Laugh, Listen and Play.


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