The primary goal of my undergraduate teaching is to prepare prospective music teachers to be skilled, knowledgeable, and committed professionals who will be able to make a lasting, positive impact on children through music. My courses are deliberately crafted to provide opportunities for thought provoking analysis, practice of newly acquired skills, personal reflection, and meaningful in-depth projects for individuals to customize according to their needs and interests. I value opportunities to engage with students across all stages of the degree program – those who are (a) just beginning their degree progress, (b) honing their professional skills and craft, and (c) making final preparations for entry into the field as student teachers.
I have also worked to maintain a close connection with children and practicing music teachers throughout my career in higher education and believe it is important for me to do so. For example, when working at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I established a middle school band and strings outreach ensemble program that grew to serve as a significant developmental experience for many undergraduate and graduate students as well as local high school musicians. Most recently, I have assumed the role of faculty coordinator of the Indiana University Young Winds middle school outreach program. In addition, I consistently share pedagogical ideas I have acquired with practicing teachers via outreach clinics and state conference presentations. I believe maintaining a connection with developing music learners and teachers in the field is important as I continue to refine my approach to mentoring music teachers.
I believe the heart of my graduate teaching responsibilities lies in mentoring experienced teachers and emerging scholars to develop a worldview from which they can consider professional issues with intellectual depth, breadth, and rigor. My work with masters and doctoral students in music education is centered upon two central missions: (a) encouraging experienced teachers to consider new possibilities for pedagogical approaches and (b) introducing students to the community of music education scholarship, primarily in the areas of research and applications of theoretical principles to music teaching and learning. As such, my graduate courses are designed to provide students with opportunities to explore research literature, analyze problems in the field from theoretical perspectives, and search to find innovative and logically grounded solutions. I also value having opportunities to work with graduate students as they begin to embrace their role as emerging scholars and explore research topics and methods that may ultimately form the beginnings of their research career.