A Little About Me
I am entering my eighth year as the band director at Treasure Coast High School. During my tenure at TCHS I've had the pleasure of growing with my program. I love to learn, I think being an active learner helps me stay in touch with the learning process that my students are going through in my class. I was very excited to be a part of the Medici Project because I see it as a way to expand my toolbox as an educator, grow as a musician, and elevate my thinking skills so that I am a more global thinker as I make decisions about my students and the program I run. I love what I do as much as I love learning. For more information about the Titan Band, please visit www.treasurecoasthighschoolband.com.
My mission as an educator is to ensure that all students develop the skills necessary to become independent musicians in a supportive and structured environment; equipped with the thinking skills, work ethic, and leadership skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century global community.
I offer students a world class music education while instilling valuable life skills. Students who graduate from the program I teach are kind people who are lifelong consumers of music. I cultivate an environment that fosters the development of superior thinking skills that are used to create a community that reflects our values and purpose.
As a music educator, it is important to me to offer my students a comprehensive music education that includes the development of the following valuable life skills: a strong work ethic, personal integrity, and civic responsibility. As an educator, it is important for me to use the time that students spend in my program to lay a foundation for their future as kind adults who can be leaders in their communities, competent in their life’s work, and lifelong consumers of music. As a musician and educator I do not believe that my responsibilities end at the classroom door or after the final concert. By focusing on student social and emotional growth as much as personal musicianship, I am confident that the responsibility that I place at the feet of my students and the rigor that I maintain as a director lays fertile ground for the students I teach to be the adults with whom I want to share my planet.
It is important to me to offer my students a comprehensive music education because a comprehensive music education played a significant role in making me who I am. It is important for me to teach my students to be quality musicians because learning how to play music has many cognitive and social benefits Studies by neural scientists continue to show that learning how to play music helps stimulate brain development. I teach my students how to be successful at making music in an ensemble because it also teaches them how to function in a collaborative communal environment. I believe this is important because this is a skill that 21st century employers are seeking. I teach my students how to be independent musicians because it allows them an avenue to explore using the scientific method in a real world setting. This is important to me because the scientific method is best way for us to acquire information that we can make informed decisions with. I teach my students how to develop these skills by meeting them where they are and systematically moving them to where I want them to be. As a result of learning these skills my students develop their self-esteem, independence, and leadership skills. By teaching my students these how to be better learners and musicians, I am forced to continue to develop my skills as a professional educator.
Developing life skills that will serve students is a part of my role as a teacher because I value the life skills I learned in band. Teaching life skills is my responsibility because I believe that as an educator my obligation to the development of my students extends beyond the classroom. I teach my students life skills by structuring the band program to resemble the world they are going to live in. By being in the band program I teach, students have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, an understanding of personal responsibility to a group, how to set and meet goals, and how to achieve excellence. The challenge to teaching these ideas is that they are contrary to societal norms and there is at times not much support in the school and home to reinforce these values
Life skills coupled with integrity and civic responsibility are important qualities in band members because these skills make band members better people. Better people make better musicians who in turn are able to make better music. By teaching students how to work with integrity and an understanding of their civic responsibility I am able to help my students learn essential skills needed to function in the 21st century global community. I value teamwork and quality as a musician and educator because that is what I have been taught and that has shaped my life. I facilitate growth in my students in this area by teaching them how to understand what quality work is, how to manage their time, how to have high standards, and how to put forth their best effort. Students benefit from this by learning transferrable skills and understanding what it takes to do at least one thing in life in a superior fashion.
As the director of a public school music program, the growth of my students as musicians falls squarely on my shoulders; however, administrators, teachers, and parents are also integral parts to the growth of the students and the band. It is important to grow the entire community that serves my students, including myself because students will rise to the expectations around them. I work to be the best music educator I can be by seeking out opportunities to learn from master teachers, bringing in clinicians so that I can observe them work with my students, attending symposiums and conducting clinics, and regularly seeking out professional development opportunities to grow as an educator and musician. I feel that mentorship is one of the most effective tools to develop individuals and I have sought out and found the most effective mentors I can for my personal and professional growth. I work with my colleagues informally to stay current on my understanding of kids and community.
I work to be the best music educator I can be because that is what was modeled to me as a student. By modeling a growth mindset to my students I reinforce with my actions the lessons I am trying to teach. In addition to creating opportunities for my students to learn how to be musicians, to develop their life skills and have civic responsibility, I am very aware that these must be modeled for students so that they can see that what they learn in my class is connected to the adult they are going to become.