PATRICIA’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
PATRICIA’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
The ACT English Test consists of 75 questions to be answered in 45 minutes. The questions are multiple choice, and they measure an individual's knowledge of English grammar, usage, sentence construction, punctuation, organization, and style. I like to use the most recent guidelines available when tutoring my students for test preparation, so I will be using the Princeton Review's Crash Course for the ACT, 3rd Edition, as a main source for studies and question and answer sessions with my students. I supplement this with AP English exercises to ensure that my students have a solid base from which to answer test questions. I alternate between verbal and written exercises to keep the process interesting and relevant.
I am a firm believer in the importance of reading for content and comprehension, so that is the approach I take when tutoring this subject. I teach my students how to look for key words, key sentences, order and flow of paragraphs and how to scan for speed. All of this is done without sacrificing the most important element: comprehension of content. I provide passages for the students to read, followed by a series of questions which tests their understanding and retention of the material. Gradually, I increase the difficulty or complexity of the passages to raise the level of proficiency for the student.
American (or U.S. History) is a subject which can seem overwhelming because of the amount of data it covers. I like to teach from a chronological outline, which highlights the most important and significant events as they occurred. I enrich the experience by introducing carefully selected anecdotes and experiences which amplify the understanding of key events.
Although Music was my major and Art my minor in college, I actually graduated with enough credits in Art to consider it a major as well. I took classes in Art History, Art Appreciation and Studio Art which included sculpture, jewelery design and crafting, as well as painting in oils and other media. Many of my pieces were sold, even before I graduated, including one which was bought the President of the college. I have taught art in private studios for over 20 years, incorporating all aspects of the history, appreciation, as well as the creation of it.
I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I graduated from college with enough credits in applied (studio) art to count as a major. I directed an art program for teens and adults in Palos Verdes, CA, for almost 10 years. I believe in teaching the basics to provide a solid foundation for future goals such as painting or sculpting.
Ear training is probably the single most important aspect of music lessons, whether in voice or instrument. As an instructor of both piano and voice, I emphasize ear training right along with the most basic exercises. When I was a music major in college, my classmates and I were frequently tested on our ability to pick a tone "out of the air" to develop or refine perfect pitch. Some people are born with perfect pitch, but others must work to develop it. Once mastered, it enables a student to sight read easily and as a result, auditions become much easier. Vocal harmonizing requires a good ear. Instrumentalists benefit in improvisation and "jam sessions," as well. I am dedicated to assisting musicians of all ages and levels of experience in achieving a "good ear."
My experience in teaching K-6th includes 4 years at a private learning center in Torrance, CA, teaching this age group English, reading and speech. The majority of these students have been ESL students from Asia, so my skills in communicating are very high. I enjoy teaching children in these very formative years.
I have taught English to Korean children aged 5 - 11 in a private learning center for four years. Early on, I was asked to develop a program for Speech Instruction at this school. I did so, and it has become a very popular program. I have also worked with adults, who need to improve their communication skills, especially for employment purposes. Since I have facility with a number of languages, myself, I am able to easily learn how the vocabulary and pronunciation of words in various languages can impede the learning of spoken English. This ability facilitates the development of exercises and modalities to correct these speech problems. As a result, my students gain greater confidence in speaking in front of and to others.
General music can include basic music theory and music appreciation as well as the fundamentals of reading music and learning such things as time signatures, key signatures, tempos, and categories of music. Depending on the particular interest of the student, this program can be customized to include instrumentation and/or vocal music. It can include music appreciation and investigation of music of various cultures.
I graduated from College with a degree in applied music in piano and voice. I received departmental honors and went on to sing with the San Diego Opera Company as well as numerous choirs and choral groups as a professional soloist. All that I have learned and used in my professional career as a performer, I have used to create a learning method that fosters the appreciation, history and understanding of music as well as its application vocally and instrumentally. I use a combination of audio and visual techniques in addition to exercises to acquaint the student with various genres of music.
Grammar is as important to speaking and writing English as oxygen is to the air we breathe. Grammar refers to the way we need to put words together in a sentence to make sense and to do so accurately. The best scenario is starting with a student in the early grades of elementary school, but, since that is not always the case with tutoring students, I put great emphasis on communicating with proper grammar while I am teaching it. I will correct a student"s verbal English as I am teaching the written form. I start with various simple exercises of matching noun and verb forms, and gradually increase the complexity of sentence formation. I use repetition of correct grammar in the form of word searches, puzzles, and short stories. Flash cards are especially useful for the younger students. I like to incorporate brief question and answer segments in each session so both the student and I know that learning is occurring and progress is being made.
Music theory is the study of how and why music works and explains the fundamentals of rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, form and texture. I teach music theory as an integral part of all music lessons, whether I am teaching piano or voice lessons. I like to use visual aids to help the students better understand the musical terms, and I like to show the relationship between music theory and notation and mathematics. Students who tend to be analytical can relate to this style rather easily. Students who are more conceptual respond to my demonstrations using voice and piano. I emphasize the aspects of music theory as building blocks to a better understanding of music. Written exercises and flash cards are some of my useful tools in teaching music theory.
Learning phonics is the key to learning to read and to the correct pronunciation of most major languages of the industrialized world. I begin the study of phonics with youngsters by picture/word association and beginning sounds of the letters. We start with the consonants and blends and then include the vowel sounds, differentiating between the short vowel sounds and the long vowel sounds. For some ESL students, blends and digraphs present challenges, so I work with mirrors and sometimes drinking straws to help them learn the placement of the tongue and its activity within the mouth, against the teeth and the hard and soft palate. Repetition memorization of verses and tongue twisters all make the process fun and effective for the students, regardless of their ages.
My older sister was given piano lessons, and I watched from the doorway so I could learn too. I was self taught until I went to college and, based on my skills in sight reading was accepted as a music major. I received my BA in piano and voice, and actually was the first music major in 69 years to qualify for an Honors thesis and Town Hall performance. I taught piano to local youngsters while I, myself, was a student. I have taught piano privately for a majority of my adult life to this day.
The first thing I look for when proofreading is the grammatical presentation. If the grammar is not correct, the content will not be read with the intended message of the writer. We all know that "we only have once chance to make a first impression," so it is vitally important to make that first impression the best in every way.
Correct spelling is vitally important. Instant grammar and spell checkers do exist on the internet, but they are not 100% accurate all the time, and do not always correct content within the particular context of the written material. That is why a human proofreader is necessary. I provide the human critical eye.
Style presentation is another feature that I focus on, because of the need to get the reader's attention, and to hold it. I work with my students to make the graphic presentation as appealing as the content.
I believe that following these three steps in proofreading will produce great results.
From years of experience appearing and performing in public, I have defined and refined my approach to public speaking. In tutoring others to speak publicly, I work with the student to defeat his/her fears using a combination of breathing and visualization techniques. I teach the student how to create rapport with the audience by means of eye contact and simple gestures. I teach the student important organizational skills which will limit endless hours of preparation. Lastly, I coach the student on how to prepare for questions that might come up in response to the presentation.
I believe that the ability to read is the most important requirement for learning any and all subjects, so I really focus on this subject. I use a combination of phonics and visuals to aid the student who is struggling with reading. Flash cards used in conjunction with vocabulary drills can be most effective in helping the student to increase his ability to read. Learning how to read the words is only a part of the whole, however. Being able to comprehend and remember what has been read is the goal. I teach the student how to scan for key words and sentences without losing content. I like to use reading materials that make the learning process fun.
Because comprehension is so important, I focus on developing the ability to scan and assess main points, key words and phrases quickly. This skill enables the student to read large amounts of copy in a limited amount of time, and quickly zero in on the crucial content. I demonstrate the importance of using the process of elimination to answer the tricky multiple choice questions, and I show the student how to develop this skill. I teach the student how to quickly and accurately decipher the unimportant details from the important ones, so as to help him/her get to the subject, theme, tone, and audience of the material.
Because the writing portion of the SAT consists of an essay and multiple choice questions, I first try to assess the student's strongest and weakest areas, so that I can focus my tutoring in the areas that need the most help first.
Since the essay prompt is assigned, I coach the student to write persuasively on the topic given, regardless of how much information he or she may know on the subject. The key is to take a position and strongly argue or support it. I concentrate my efforts in the areas of organization, sentence structure, topic development, vocabulary and proper grammar.
In the next two sections, which are multiple choice, I work with the student to effectively use the process of elimination in helping to determine the correct answer. Since many of the questions will have errors of grammar, I make sure that the student is strong in this area. Subject/verb agreement is one of the major stumbling blocks for students, because the errors can be very subtle. I work with the student to be confident about this aspect of grammar and sentence construction.
Since sight singing requires accuracy in 3 main areas: Rhythm, Melodies and Custom modes, I incorporate all three into my method of teaching. I teach rhythm by breaking down and illustrating time signatures with the most common meter (4/4) and gradually advancing to the more complex meters such as 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8. Once there is an understanding of, and ability to recognize and tap out the correct rhythms, randomly, I more into the next segment which is Melodies. I teach this by beginning with solfeggio (learning the notes of the scales by using the syllables: do, re, mi,fa,so,la,ti). Gradually I teach the student to learn the intervals from unison to octave. This requires training the ear, using repetitive exercises. When both rhythm & melody are under control, I move to Customized, or Complex combinations of rhythms and melodies.
There are various methods that can be used to acquire the skill of spelling successfully. I assess each student's ability in reading and phonics prior to determining the best method. For some students, seeing the whole word and writing it a number of times is the way to learn the correct spelling. A combination of reading, phonics and repetition will produce good results. I provide monitoring and testing to assure success in this field.
Because I excelled in my own studies throughout grammar school, high school, college and post graduate work, I believe I am qualified to assist students in their efforts to achieve maximum results in their study efforts. I can guide them and help them to develop the skills to get to the heart of the problems or questions asked and show them shortcuts to finding answers or solving problems of critical thinking. I will show them how to organize their study time to prioritize and get the most out of their allotted time.
I encourage the use of planners to help the students see what assignments and tests are upcoming, so they can plan their study time accordingly.
Since the TOEFL exam requires proficiency in four main components: LISTENING, STRUCTURE, READING, and WRITING, I focus my instruction in each of these areas in a coordinated way. Each session with my student involves practice in the listening and understanding of the spoken language, with repetition and correction of any phonemes or words which have not been pronounced correctly. The lesson also includes practice in reading and exercises to determine the level of comprehension. The written portion of the instruction incorporates grammar, style and topic recognition and comprehension. Homework is assigned to provide a steady basis of study for the student.
I was a music major in college in both piano and voice. My vocal studies were conducted with a visiting professor (Joseph Victor Laderroute) from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD. In the Spring of my graduation from college I gave my Town Hall performance, in which I read from my honors thesis, played piano for 20 minutes and sang for 20 minutes.
Subsequently, I sang with the San Diego Opera Company, and had such supporting roles as the High Priestess in Aida. I also was active in musical theater, performing the roles of Laurie, in"Oklahoma," Marsinah in "Kismet," Julie Jordan in "Carousel," to name a few.
I was a professional church soloist for the First Congregational Church in Mission Hills, CA for 8 years and did numerous solo performance in concert.
I have taught singing lessons for most of my adult life.
In tutoring for the SAT writing section, I start by assessing the student's proficiency of English Grammar and overall writing skills. I teach the student to take a "prompt" and develop it into a well written essay in a limited amount of time using simple methods to organize information; to write catchy and interesting topic sentences: to check for grammar errors to avoid poorly constructed sentences. I show the student how to identify poorly written sentences and how to improve them. I use a similar technique in showing the student how to identify poorly written paragraphs, and the ways to improve upon them.