Playing cello makes me feel confident since I don't have to worry about carrying a big instrument like string bass. As a German bow user, holding and using a French bow is still awkward. I could show a beginning student how to hold the instrument, how to hold the French bow, and how to read the bass clef notes. I had my first cello lessons during the first 6 months of 1989, the time I was in high school. I also studied cello as part of string methods, because I was majoring in music education. Occasionally, I played cello with University of South Dakota and Asbury University orchestras. From time to time, I play cello during church services at United Methodist Church in Romeo, MI. To this day, I did not teach any students except the time during the late 1990's when I was a South Dakota State University student.
Because of my knowledge in music theory, understanding what inspires me to write music, and translating those feelings into the language of music, I am qualified to be a music composer. During 1 school semester at Asbury University, I participated at a composition competition, the time I had the opportunity to briefly study composition with my music history professor. Just as there are people who write books, articles and journals, I want my students to know that they can become music composers.
I have perfect pitch, which allows me to aurally hear and distinguish tonal pitches. For example, just as many of you can tell exactly what kind of shade is navy blue, I can exactly tell you what a C and a C# are. Though there was no specific course for me to receive training in this area, guitar lessons with my sister was enough for me to develop that skill. Years later, this skill became very useful in order to help some people, who could not tell if their instruments were out of tune. I have a friend, who is at the intermediate level of trumpet performance, and who is still developing his tuning skills. In a few occasions, I had to help him by adjusting the intonation of his trumpet.
In 1986, some people commented to me that my English was better than many US native English speakers, which I still remember. It took me many years to learn the English grammar. The best vehicles to learn the English language were: 1) translation work; 2) creating essays as a piano graduate student; 3) working as a food store clerk; and 4) teaching music lessons. Each student will have different vehicles to learn the language. The best way for a student to learn English is through non-verbal actions and examples, which are what I learned from Berlitz School.
Because the United States' official language is English, it is understandable that everyone in this country must learn the language. However, people, who immigrated from non-English speaking countries, have their ways of learning the language. My job is to lend them a hand to help them increase the communication with their neighbors. In my experience, the hardest part of learning English was the grammar. At the same time, for some people it could be the basic conversation. Whatever it takes, my job will be to take these people step-by step to learn English.
The objective of music history is to have avid listeners and critics understand typical characteristics of musical periods. Just as we behave and think differently in different human stages, music goes through different evolutions based on historical eras. As an Asbury University student many years ago, I remember that music history was one of the hardest subjects I studied. But I am glad I did, because today I appreciate the subtle nuances and differences of each era compositions. I can easily identify where these compositions come from historically. Though I did not have experience in teaching music history but spoke to a couple of people about music history, it is the proof I can educate people about music. They, in turn, can talk to other people about music as well.
Just like a correct English grammar, music theory exists to help musicians and composers understand the correct musical grammar. The correct grammar helps listener understand the thoughts of the composer. It's a way the composer communicates to his/her listeners.
I have a Bachelor of music degree in piano performance, 1994, from Asbury University. I have a Master of music degree in piano performance, 1995, from the University of South Dakota.
Just as there are people who have difficulties in reading books, journals and articles, there are some who may have difficulties with sight singing. I have seen people with such difficulties when I was an Asbury University music student many years ago. Sight singing was not a problem for me because of my perfect pitch skill. My goal is to put myself on my students' shoes to figure out a way to step-by-step help them to develop the sight singing skills.
I am a native Spanish speaker from Paraguay. While learning English, I realized that grammatically sentences in Spanish and English are different. Like English, Spanish has rules for a correct grammar. My goal is to have students understand what a good grammar is in Spanish. Like words in English, there are words in Spanish spelled identically. Some of them have the same meaning while others differ. My goal is to have students make correct word choices equivalent to appropriate English words. If applicable, I would start having a conversation in Spanish with my students, a natural way of learning the language.
I remember taking the TOEFL exam many years ago and noticed that there were a lot of tricky questions, many of which may be hard to answer for a non-English speaking person. Personally, I know how it feels when one is unable to answer such questions. I would like to use my past experience with the exam as a way to help other people having trouble with English no matter what area/section it might be.