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Lincoln Center-Aesthetic Education Five-Day Training

-Art Making-Questioning-Reflection-Contextual Information- A Week at Lincoln Center
... to perceive, a beholder must create his own experience.  And his creation must include relations comparable to those which the original producer underwent.  They are not the same in any literal sense.  But with the perceiver, as with the artist, there must be an ordering of the elements of the whole that is in form, although not in details, the same as the process of organization the creator of the work consciously experiences.  Without an act of recreation, the object is not perceived as a work of art.  The artist selected, simplified, clarified, abridged and condensed according to his interest.  The beholder must go through these operations according to his point of view and interest.  -John Dewey, Art as Experience

This past July I was accepted into a one-week training at the Lincoln Center for Education in New York.  The majority of the what I would be learning had to do with a pedagogy system ba…
Recent posts

Let’s Create a Composition Revolution in Massachusetts

Young Composers and Improvisers Workshop
Teaching composition is no easy task as the majority of pedagogical resources available lack the understanding of the typical classroom anatomy. Many teachers feel uncomfortable teaching this subject as we were not taught such concepts in our college pedagogy courses and may have never really delved into composition in our own role of music maker.  This really puts us out of our comfort zone, and yet the benefits of a successful composition curriculum can become a catalyst for increased meaningful music making for our students.  
A music teacher in New York by the name of Matt McLean set out to debunk the common misconceptions we sometimes envision in classroom music composition. Matt created the non-profit organization and curriculum called the Young Composers and Improvisers Workshop (YCIW).  He notes that “as a music educator I've seen my students develop their strongest connection to music when they are given the opportunity…

Concert Band Turned Composer Band

Concert Band Turned Composer Band Create, Perform, Publish to the World!

The Why? Elementary general music curriculum has a strong compositional and improvisational background through various teaching methods.  In addition, music technology electives are popping up in many middle and high schools which usually involve music creation as part of its natural being.  But in concert band, a time and place which has trained instrumentalists ready to perform, we usually leave the creative touch to those students who are in the jazz band.  Students who want to dig deeper into music might take a theory class filled with vocabulary and drill.  What if there was a way to marry the performance ability of concert band students with their untapped creativity by channeling their understanding of music through composition?
My journey and questioning of  how to run a successful rehearsal began a few years ago. At that time I  faced my band’s biggest weakness: poor intonation…

My Experience at the 2015 I.M.P.A.C.T. Conference

For three days I attended the New York University Interactive Multimedia Performing Arts Collaborative Technology (IMPACT) Conference.
It was IMPORTANT to meet teachers who are just like me (I’m not alone): Over the course of three days I met four teachers who I would also consider future collaborators.  We are all doing similar things which are not typically done in our home states.  We are fighting “the system,” which is what I call old-school music education.  The truth is that 20% of students take band, orchestra, and choir.  The other 80% must have a MEANINGFUL music education.  At one point we discussed why we were teaching music. There was large discussion about cultivating talent vs. teaching music for the joy of music making.  Barbara Freedman summed it up by saying “Teaching music saves lives.”  

Industry Meets Music Education: This is the first conference I have been to which combined teachers, future teachers, and industry leaders in an interactive way. In order for the tec…

Introducing the Pentucket Music Conservatory! The Pentucket Regional School District is now by definition, the most innovative public school system in the state of Massachusetts.  Innovation schools were originally designed for lower level school districts facing state takeover.  Pentucket, considered a higher achieving district, was able to capitalize on the opportunity to add innovation schools when the state department made it possible for any level district to apply.

See the following Boston Globe articles:

What is the Pentucket Music Conservatory?
This is an innovation school focused on the music education we provide for Pentucket students in grades 7-12.  Over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, a committee made up of faculty, administration, a school committee member, parents, and a student representative dedicated their time to answer the following two initiatives:
1. Create career pathways for music
2. Expand the music education opportunities for students not in our traditional band/chorus/o…