All Things Educator

/All Things Educator
Jun 29 6/29/19

What It’s Really Like Being LGBT+ in the Arts

By | 2019-06-30T00:33:08+00:00 June 29th, 2019|The Composer Life, All Things Educator, Real Talk|

  Pride month—one of my favorite months of the year—is coming to a close. It’s been, as always, a delightful chance for my LGBT+ friends and me to celebrate who we are, be more open about our usual selves, and in some cases even come out for the first time. Though there are still many people out there who would rather have us not exist, and the fight against discrimination both legally and in everyday life is far from over, we have come a very, very long way since the dawn of the new millennium. And I’m excited to play [...]

Oct 16 10/16/18

Why I’ve Stopped Caring About My “Perfect” Pitch

By | 2018-10-17T00:16:18+00:00 October 16th, 2018|The Composer Life, All Things Educator, I Smell Theorist!, Let's Pretend I'm a Philosopher, Real Talk|

Yes, I'm THAT guy. I'm the guy you hated in school who was a natural at sight-singing. The guy who tested out of his college ear training courses in record time and never had to show up for those classes. The guy who didn't have any trouble transcribing things, detecting errors, and hitting tricky intervals on his instrument out of thin air. Because I was the guy who could hear it all in advance. Yep, that's right. I have perfect pitch: The ability to identify any note once it's been played or to sing any requested note on command. Or at least... [...]

Dec 21 12/21/17

Second Chances, Coffee Pots, and How to College

By | 2018-02-02T01:51:32+00:00 December 21st, 2017|All Things Educator, Real Talk|

I had a student this semester named “Zach” (obviously that wasn’t his real name, but let’s pretend it was). Zach came into my course not knowing much, but was excited to learn and clearly loving the material. He participated every day in class, answered questions about listening projects, and did well on all of the tests and quizzes. Just one problem… he was one of a small handful of students who hadn’t turned in a single assignment all semester. For the record, assignments are 40% of the overall grade. After sending a gentle reminder to the students who hadn’t done [...]

Nov 3 11/3/17

No, You’ll Never Use This… And That’s Okay!

By | 2017-12-21T19:09:18+00:00 November 3rd, 2017|All Things Educator, Let's Pretend I'm a Philosopher|

This semester I'm teaching two separate sets of classes at the University of Miami: Fundamentals for music minor and musical theatre majors, and aural skills for freshmen and sophomores. Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with the way the Frost School of Music at UM handles music theory, we have a slightly different approach than most traditional institutions. The Experiential Music Curriculum here heavily incorporates things like composition, improvisation, and small ensemble playing in courses so that every lesson gets put into a context where the student is actively playing their instrument. It's a great system that I [...]