I help students at all developmental levels attain mastery in their subject area by inspiring curiosity, a desire for contextualization, and the skills to think critically regarding relevant factual information. I view these three elements as necessary for a classroom and private lesson environment that establishes free and critical inquiry. These values are also integral for those who plan to enter artistic fields, as students must learn to make aesthetic judgments in the context of their own scholarship.
To inspire curiosity, I lead by example. In addition to asking questions of students regarding subject matter at hand, I encourage them to verbalize and analyze their own reactions to the material, whether in response to the music being studied, its historical context, or its theoretical concepts. Additionally, I discuss aspects of the material or related subjects that continue to intrigue me. Value is placed on curiosity by being actively interested in the students’ intellectual discoveries. This encourages the students’ independent quest for knowledge and understanding beyond the basic requirements that are outlined in a given class syllabus or assignment.
Context is a cornerstone of understanding, particularly in the performing arts. The function of musical elements changes throughout history; it is therefore essential to be able to contextualize musical material and scholarly thought. After imparting basic facts, I bring the concepts to life. This could be through viewing contemporaneous art of other disciplines, in-class performances by myself or students, or group creative activity. This creates a dynamic learning environment that contextualizes through actualization, making the information not only more memorable, but more meaningful as well.
Critical thinking inevitably follows from curiosity and contextualization. If there is a passion to learn coupled with the idiomatic knowledge to pursue and actualize that passion, then the inquiring mind will follow the logical pathways to explore the scholarly questions at hand. By questioning, implementing, and actualizing the basic facts, students are taught to inquire, evaluate, and reach meaningful conclusions regarding the subject matter.
This environment of critical inquiry is dependent upon the freedom to question and exchange information. To that end, I endeavor to balance friendliness with professionalism and humor with focus. When the classroom is an enjoyable place where questions are welcomed, intellectual explorations are fostered, and moments of epiphany are prized, then learning even difficult material begins to happen naturally and subsequent benchmarks—be they homework assignments, projects, performances, or exams—become enjoyable exercises that test and solidify knowledge. Within this environment I can challenge my students to understand the material presented to them, think in broader contexts, and inspire them to learn throughout their lives.
Dickinson College, Adjunct Composition Faculty, Fall 2014-Present
Towson University, Adjunct Composition Faculty, Fall 2011-Spring 2014
The Peabody Conservatory Junior Bach Program, Fall 2010
Masterclass Leadership, Adjudication, and Research
Music Theory and Aural Skills, Research and Presentations
The College Music Society International 2015 Conference, Presenter:
Spectral Echoes: Sibeliusí Symphony no. 4 as a Predecessor to Spectralism, July 2015
The Peabody Conservatory, Adjunct Music Theory Faculty, Fall 2010-Present
Towson University, Adjunct Music Theory Faculty, Fall 2008-2011
Research and Presentations
Musicology, Research and Presentations
The College Music Society Northeast Chapter 2015 Conference, Presenter: Towards a Holistic Model of Musical Evolution: The Ripple Effects of Pair-Bonding on Musical Development in Hominids, March 2015
The Ecomusicologies: Dialogues 2014 Conference, Presenter, Lecture-Recital: Vox and the Voiceless: The Absent Reference and the Reference of Absence in Cetacean Musics, October 2014
Adjunct Musicology Faculty, the Peabody Conservatory, Fall 2012-Present
Special Studies Instructor, the Chautauqua Institute, Summer 2013
Musicology Graduate Assistant, the Peabody Conservatory, Spring 2010
Research and Presentations
Applied Lessons: Piano, Organ and Composition
Piano, organ, and composition instructor, specializing in students with mental, aural, visual and physical differences
Director, the St. Davidís Chorister Choir, 2014-Present
Children’s Choir Director, Old St. Paul’s, 2012-2014
Director, the St. Paul’s Boys’ Choir, Fall 2011-2014
Guest Music Director, Ariel’s Tempest: An Opera for Young Audiences, with music by Douglas Buchanan and libretto by Roger Brunyate, performed throughout the Mid-Atlantic, 2011-2013.
Guest Composer and Speaker, the Peabody Children’s Chorus, Fall 2012
Tutor, the Montreal Royal School of Church Music Boys’ Choir Course, August 2011
Children’s Choir Director, St. Mark’s-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 2009-2011