The Critical Pedagogue

"A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary." ~ Thomas Carruthers

Persisters, Switchers, and Leavers, Oh My!

Persisters, Switchers, and Leavers, Oh My!

So… This girl has been busy busy busy lately!  Quick update before I jump in to my latest article reading OVERJOYED!  –  I have been offered (and have accepted) a professorship with the University of Tennessee at Martin and I am soooo excited to get started!  I have been searching for some time for the right fit and I finally found it!  The faculty members have been so inviting and supportive,…

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Posted 9 weeks ago

Thwarted by a Tennis Ball...

Thwarted by a Tennis Ball…

I have this one class… We all have the one class right?  Well, in this one class, my students are doing terrible in school. I mean TERRIBLE… Not all of them, but more than 50% are about to fail their freshman/sophomore year. It’s not really a class, it’s more like a homeroom, but even so… I see them every other day for anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and I feel a sense of…

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Posted 23 weeks ago

And the Cellists Came to Blows Over a Grand Pause...

And the Cellists Came to Blows Over a Grand Pause…

Well… They didn’t actually come to blows over the grand pause… But they were close. There were words, that is for sure!  Fighting words! And here’s the thing: I couldn’t decide if I was proud or angry with them. See, I have worked forever to build in my students a sense of musical freedom and ownership in what happens with music in orchestra. So we make many musical decisions democratically.…

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Posted 26 weeks ago

Motivation Multiplied

Motivation Multiplied: Intrinsically Motivated Musicians through Social Identity #musicedlove

Leif Conducting Senior
You know how football fans can be obnoxious sometimes (let’s not name names… but still… We all know it’s true).  And then their team wins a BIG GAME and they are TEN TIMES WORSE?!?!?!  Their ties once painted solid reds and blues are quickly switched out with “official NFL” ties representing their teams…  And then, they find each other!  And work becomes even worse if you are not a fan of that…

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Posted 30 weeks ago

Say my Name Say my Name

Say my Name Say my Name

In the past few weeks, I have been traveling around, conducting these special all county and all city orchestras. I love these events so much. What great power we have as the conductor of an ensemble such as this. Students remember what they learned and did at these events for years to come. My husband still talks about some of his past conductors and their performances. He even still listens to…

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Posted 40 weeks ago

Turning Down my Dream Job: A Dissertation Death Story (Sort of)

Turning Down my Dream Job: A Dissertation Death Story (Sort of)

Heartbeat Best
I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop working on my dissertation, and gradually my mind started drifting to this past week with my students. This always happens to me… I call it “Dissertation Death by Distraction…”  Anyhow, I’ll bring it back to life again soon… But for now, I should get back to being distracted… This summer, I was actually offered a college teaching job, doing exactly what I…

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Posted 46 weeks ago
<p><a href="">Teaching Love, One Note at a Time</a></p>

<p>I know I shouldn’t be writing on my blog right now… Not at 8:20 am when I have students coming in so soon.  </p>

Teaching Love, One Note at a Time

I know I shouldn’t be writing on my blog right now… Not at 8:20 am when I have students coming in so soon.  

Posted 62 weeks ago

The Power of Even a Drop of Critical Pedagogy

The Power of Even a Drop of Critical Pedagogy

eyebrows on fleek
Every day, many anxious students tap their feet, drum their fingers, and hum throughout “core” classes, anticipating the much favored music class.  Expecting to learn about something new and interesting, desperate to learn new techniques on an instrument, and ready to make music, the students are often clay in the hands of a teacher.  Music so often lends itself to a whole-brained learning…

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Posted 63 weeks ago

My Best Concert Ever!!! A Positive Shift in Culture

My Best Concert Ever!!! A Positive Shift in Culture

JFallon Running Man
Okay friends… Seriously… I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for this upcoming concert as I sit here writing this blog post!!! It’s not that my students will sound all that amazing…. I mean, they will have their moments for sure.  It’s not that they will look all that professional on stage… They will have their moments for this too… And it’s not really that we have perfected all of the notes and…

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Posted 65 weeks ago
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