Where do you teach?
New Trier High School, ILMEA District 7
What do you teach?
I teach 5 Orchestras:
Freshman Orchestra (strings only) 40 students
Freshman Chamber Players (strings only) 20 Students
Concert Orchestra (strings & full) 60 Students
Symphony Orchestra (full only) 100 Students
Chamber Orchestra (full only) 40 Students
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
The daily rehearsal is the most satisfying portion of my job. Nothing is more electrifying for me as an educator then when the light bulb goes on in a student, and they understand the concept or make a break threw in the learning process.
What makes the music program at New Trier unique?
The scope and breadth of course offerings for students is extraordinary. One music course offering that is unique in our music department is “High Five Choir.” High Five Choir is a course dedicated and designed for special needs students that includes mentorship from students from the student body at large.
What do students get from the music program that they do not get anywhere else at school?
Music education in our schools develops the aural aesthetic in both the individual and group. Daily music education provides a conduit for the expression of ideas through sound. I believe all of our brains are wired for music and that this portion of the brain needs to be developed and nurtured. Music education is uniquely positioned to do this in our school.
What are the top five reasons students are involved in music at New Trier?
Passion and love for music
Opportunity to share their passion for music
Passion for their instrument or voice
A break from their core academic classes
It provides a forum for creative expression
How has ILMEA involvement benefitted the educators, students and music education at New Trier?
ILMEA has provided meaningful performance and music education opportunities for our students and music educators. ILMEA serves a critical role in providing credibility for music education and the music educator in the general education arena for both the colleague and administrator. Additionally it provides support and networking opportunities for music educators within our communities and schools.
What are your educational goals for this year?
An annual goal for me is to connect with the students in my classroom so that they are willing to take a risk together and understand, create and perform music that is meaningful.
How do you incorporate assessment and standards-based learning in your music curriculum, and how does it benefit your students?
With the recent mobile learning initiative at our school, I have sought ways to incorporate the use of the iPad (technology) in the instrumental music class. This has been difficult on many levels since the size of the class and limited functional applications prohibit meaningful integration. Currently I am working with the Instructional Technology department on developing a portfolio-assessment tool that is interactive between the teacher and student. For instrumental music students, not only is aural feedback essential but so is visual. Until recently there was not a meaningful way to integrate audio-visual assessment because the platforms were varied, inconsistent, and impossible to store. The iPad now solves the issue of a consistent recording platform for delivery of audio-visual assessments and feedback. However storage has remained a major juggernaut until recent and robust development of the Google platform and what it provides. We are now developing an interactive format for the assessment of students’ audio-visual recordings that can be housed in a Google Drive environment. This has been, for years, an area that needed development and is on the cusp of becoming a reality in our orchestra program.
Please share something with new teachers that you have found helpful in your life.
Go out and observe other teachers. This is the best way to learn from your peers and incorporate innovative ideas. Also it is a great way to affirm what you do as a teacher.