Statement of Teaching Philosophy

I was lucky enough to have attended the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) during my 3rd through 12th-grade years. It was there that the Paideia philosophy and the teachers' belief in this philosophy showed me that there is more to learning than just sitting and listening. The teachers at CSAS were excited to teach and were equally excited when we, the students, engaged them in a discussion. My early exposure to this teaching method has helped shape my teaching method today.

Excite the Student

First, I aim to excite the interests of the students by engaging them in a discussion, versus having them listen to a lecture. I am constantly thinking back to when I was a student and what ‘tricks’ the teachers used to hold my interest in the subject matter, as well as provide a safe open platform for discussion. For example, I introduce the students to a plethora of musical works or thoughts, and I then I ask them to articulate their reactions. After stating their reactions, we engage in discussions about particular devices used to yield those reactions. I then ask the students if there are any examples that they can pull from their experiences that fit the discussion at hand.

Being Flexible

My second goal is to be very flexible. Every classroom has a different makeup of people, so there is no reason to expect the same outcome as a semester previous. I take this approach to my private teaching as well. Individuals process information differently, and some students (young or old) have certain abilities and/ or disabilities. It would be wise for a teacher to offer assistance and/ or to explain in a different way. Some people are visual learners, some are auditory learners, and some are literal learners. My job is to quickly assess what type of classroom I have in order to sufficiently teach the subject matter at hand.

Goals for the student

My goal for each student is to improve his or her ability to listen and understand a piece of music, and also to discuss what they just learned in an environment that leads to further exploration. I want each student to realize that there are various methods of inquiry: historical, analytical, cultural and hermeneutical. With each of these, the student learns how to use and/ or push beyond their individual experiences and have an enriching appreciation and dialogue about music.