Teaching


During a lecture-recital at Johns Hopkins Universityís Meet the Music, including a performance of Scots and Waters and excerpts from Colonnades.

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

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.

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Composition

Dickinson College, Adjunct Composition Faculty, Fall 2014-Present

  • Senior Composition Seminar (individual lessons and advising)
  • Composersí Forum (repertoire, techniques, and topics in contemporary composition)
  • Electronic Composition (individual lessons)
  • Acoustic Composition (individual lessons)
  • Orchestration
  • Counterpoint

Towson University, Adjunct Composition Faculty, Fall 2011-Spring 2014

  • Private Composition Lessons and Advising: Graduate and Undergraduate lessons, including advising Senior Recitals and Commercial and Jazz Composition Lessons
  • Founder and Coordinator, the Towson Symphony Young Composer’s Readings
  • Instrumentation and Arranging
  • Composition Seminar

The Peabody Conservatory Junior Bach Program, Fall 2010

  • Taught composition to inner-city children culminating in a concert of their work

Guest Lecturer

  • Guest Lecturer in Composition, Shenandoah Conservatory, Spring 2010
  • Guest Lecturer in Composition, University of Baltimore, Spring 2008

Masterclass Leadership, Adjudication, and Research

  • Coordinator and Mentor, the Baltimore Choral Arts Young Composers Readings, 2016
  • Founder, the New Music @ Old St. Paul’s Composers’ Workshops, 2014
  • Adjudicator, Music Teacher’s National Association Eastern Division Composition Competition, Fall 2013
  • Master Teacher, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Young Composer’s Readings, May 2012
  • Adjudicator, The Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association Keystone Composition Competition, Spring 2012
  • The Royal College of Music and the Peabody Conservatory Composer’s Conference, Presenter; Paper Presented: We the Liminal: A Ritual Approach to Musical Form, 2011
  • Adjudicator, Maryland State PTA Reflections Composition Competition, Spring 2007

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

  • Music Theory 1-2 (accelerated): Chromaticism and Counterpoint, Baroque style
  • Music 3-4 (accelerated): Form and Analysis, Classical and Early Romantic styles
  • Ear Training Fundamentals

Towson University, Adjunct Music Theory Faculty, Fall 2008-2011

  • Music Theory I: Music Fundamentals
  • Music Theory II: Part-Writing, Non-Chord Tones, and Seventh Chords
  • Music Theory III: Chromaticism and Small Forms
  • Music Theory IV: Advanced Chromaticism, Large Forms, and Fugue
  • Promoted to Adjunct Faculty II (Senior Adjunct), Spring 2011

Assistantships

  • Graduate Assistantship in Music Theory, The Peabody Conservatory, Fall 2007-Spring 2010
  • Teaching Apprentice in Music Theory and Aural Skills, The College of Wooster, Fall 2004-Spring 2006

Research and Presentations

  • The College Music Society South Central Chapter 2014 Conference, Presenter; Lecture-Recital:  Taboo Tonalities: Examining the Sonata as Ritual Form, March 2014
  • Course Materials for 20th-Century Ear Training, Qualifying Paper for the Degree of Master of Music Theory Pedagogy, Dr. Kip Wile, advisor, 2008

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

  • Music History Intensive: Graduate course covering Greek Antiquity to 21st Century
  • Music History III: 19th-Century Music

Special Studies Instructor, the Chautauqua Institute, Summer 2013

  • Music and Mythic Meaning: a course exploring music cognition, evolution, and ritual

Musicology Graduate Assistant, the Peabody Conservatory, Spring 2010

Research and Presentations

  • College Music Society Mid-Atlantic and Southern Chapters Joint Conference 2014, Presenter; Paper Presented: Bach and the Breath of God: Pentecostal Rhetoric in the Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532, February 2014
  • American Musicological Society Capital Chapter Spring 2013 Meeting, Presenter; Paper Presented: Rhetoric Rethought: Affektenlehre in Context; received Lowens Award for Best Student Paper
  • The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Conference: “Music and Liturgy as a Way of Welcome,” Presenter; Paper Presented: Music and Mythic Meaning: An Anthropological Approach to Wonder

Applied Lessons: Piano, Organ and Composition

Piano, organ, and composition instructor, specializing in students with mental, aural, visual and physical differences

Young Musicians

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