Thursday, February 10, 2011


The Syllabi that I handed out in the past were so boring. This year I wanted to try something more exciting, so I used ideas for my syllabus inspired by a handout by Julia Church Hoffman. She makes wonderfully engaging papers for her classes to read and because they have pictures, they are more eye-catching and more likely to be read by the students (and parents as well). For the first class, we colored the syllabus that I created. Children’s book illustrator, Chie Yasuda, created artwork for my syllabus that is both accurate (in terms of playing position and number of strings on the guitar) and friendly. As we colored the syllabus, we talked about whether or not the student in the picture was right handed or left handed and what the important information is on the syllabus as well as answered questions that came up spontaneously.

Chalkboard Introductions

Chalkboard Introductions:
Because there are only two students in the class I decided against “Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar” and came up with this impromptu way of getting to know each other. We introduced ourselves by talking about our interests and our favorite flavor of ice cream.

Q:What do you do for fun? What is your favorite ice cream?



Cookies&Cream or Green Tea Ice Cream (Maccha)

Overview of my Proposal

Overview of my Proposal 
In 2009, I wrote “Guitar Music for Children and Beginners” in response to needs that I saw in the classrooms that I taught, which I will describe later. The rationale is that “pre-reading” children ages 5-7 can learn simple ways to read music that are connected to their listening that are not necessarily the same literacy as standard notation, but will benefit them at their current learning level as well as the future. A simple example of this is guitar tablature, which has both the ability to expediently teach the method of guitar playing, as well as having a historical significance in 16th century lute music, (which was written in tablature) as well as multidisciplinary benefits, such as mathematical. An understanding of music in multiple representations has also proven to improve the brain’s functionality in a multitude of different ways, which we are working on in Music-In-Education (MIE).
Goals for my Internship
My goals can be summed up in three different categories: I would like to know how and in what ways my children’s book benefits children; I would like to make further steps toward creating a lesson plan that keeps students’ musical literacy skills in step with their technical ability and helps students who are stronger in areas other that music; and I would like to document my student’s progress based on their improvement in overall musical literacy. I would hope that by the time I finish my Internship that I will have articulated a method that improves a beginner’s overall musicianship as well as their technical skills on guitar.
I plan to begin before the Internship begins by articulating a detailed rubric and lesson plans for the entire semester. During the Internship I plan to write down all of my reflections, which I will use to assess my progress. I also plan to assess the student’s musical aptitude according to a method developed by the MIE department. I also plan to occasionally record lessons through various electronic media which I will compare to the lesson plans and an after class assessment. I plan to use any media that I take during class for my after-class assessment. I will focus on key points and moments in the classroom and highlight them in my portfolio based on the material collected from my lesson plans, reflections and media.

Questions that I would like to like to pursue during the course of my Internship:
How does one integrate music theory, music history and ear-training into instrumental education at a young age?
How does the introduction of multiple literacies supplement traditional music education for beginning guitarists?
How does my “Guitar Music for Children and Beginners” book supplement traditional music education?

Details of Internship: Location
The tentative location of the Internship is the Wang YMCA in Chinatown. The music teacher there is Johnny McInnes. Wang YMCA has a variety of different programs for youth from an array of different ethnic backgrounds. I would like to do the same internship over the course of two semesters to improve the accuracy of my data.

Wang YMCA in Chinatown:
Applications of my Internship and Future Plans
After I receive my Masters in Music from the New England Conservatory I plan to return to my life as a full-time musician and teach and perform within the community. My desire is to use my time at the Conservatory to reflect upon my previous teaching experience, identify and learn key areas that are important to myself as an Artist/Teacher/Scholar, to try out and collect data on new ideas during experiences like my internship and to use this scholarship to build upon my current teaching and performing style. The hope is that this research will help me find new opportunities as a musician as well as work with more satisfaction.
As for my book, I would like to republish my “Guitar Music for Children and Beginners” book and method in a way that draws a broader audience of students, parents and teachers that are looking for material to supplement their traditional guitar program.

MIE Internship at YMCA Wang

I have begun my MIE Internship at the New England Conservatory and will be teaching classical guitar at the YMCA in Chinatown in Boston, MA. The main focus of my internship is to better myself as an educator through scholarship. Everything that I have done in teaching before I will try to make improvements upon by implementing some of the suggestions my colleagues have published about children's education, video recording classes and examining student progress based on a strict set of goals. I will also conduct research as to how "Guitar Music for Children and Beginners" works in a classroom setting and see exactly what areas of musical aptitude a child makes improvements in. The research from this internship will be used to benefit the concepts brought up in "Guitar Music for Children and Beginners". I hope that you will follow this blog through my internship for Spring 2011.