As a long-time middle school music, theatre, and general subjects teacher, I have worked successfully with ADHD students in a variety of contexts. In more than 20 years of working with music and theatre students, I have learned to work positively and constructively with students with ADHD, and found means to help them learn, interact, and perform effectively. From 1994 to 1998, my work in a program for gifted and talented middle schoolers helped me to understand that students can struggle with ADHD issues because of their giftedness, and I found that students struggled less with ADHD once their special gifts and talents were recognized, developed, harnessed, and directed for academic success. During the 2010-2012 school years, my school assignment included work in Content Mastery, where I tutored and mentored individual students with ADHD and helped them to understand concepts and complete work for all their classes. My experience with ADHD students, my familiarity with their particular strengths and weaknesses, and with advice from my special education colleagues, I learned to tap into each student's knowledge and abilities and to modify instruction to meet their individual needs. This experience with ADHD continues to serve me every day as an all-levels general subjects itinerate educator, as I need to quickly evaluate students' needs and determine their best learning approach. Finally, my graduate school work included specific training and research relating to ADHD, including legal and management considerations.
I am qualified as a cello tutor due to my university training, more than 20 years' performance and tutoring experience, and that I am a state certified music teacher specializing in string orchestra. As a university graduate student (1993-1994), I began to complete the requirements for music teacher certification, which included improving my knowledge and skill on all the stringed instruments. The cello being the instrument I least understood, I participated in the university's string education methods class and spent two semesters performing on the cello in the university symphony orchestra. I eventually doubled on instruments - including the cello - in the pit orchestra for university theatrical productions. My work as a graduate student during those years included teaching strings in the public schools, so I taught beginning cellists in class and gave some of them their private lessons. In those days, I also performed on the cello in some recording studio sessions with a folk-rock band.
Since becoming a certified music teacher and string orchestra specialist, I have often practiced my cello skills, used them in class when teaching my orchestras, led section rehearsals, taught private lessons when needed, and performed on the cello at state music convention sight-reading sessions. I worked part-time as an orchestra director from 1993 to 1998, and then full-time as an orchestra director from 1998 to 2003 and 2007 to 2012. Of course, I tutored my cellists as needed and, though the cello remains the stringed instrument I've played for the shortest time, my cello technique, sight-reading skill, and knowledge of the cello far surpasses that of most intermediate level students.
I have been a chess enthusiast since my middle school years, when my friends and I would play often on weekends and sometimes carry portable sets to school for use during our leisure hours. As I grew older, I learned more about the strategy of chess, and that one must learn to use knowledge of the movement of pieces to not only predict their opponents' possible moves, but also one's own responses to the same. For years since, I am often speculating about several moves ahead of my opponents and can quickly assess a player's skill - as well as the means for improving their skill. As a music teacher, I've realized that chess - like music - is a game of patterns. This connection I have used with my music students and found that their playing chess improves their overall musicality, while playing music helps them improve their chess playing. On a personal level, I have played chess with many people of many ages, including those "chess masters" who set up in the park to take on all comers. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, but I always learn from my mistakes, and my opponents often offered explanations and suggestions for improvement. I suppose that my experience learning from great players helps me to better teach the game!
My university undergraduate music training included four semesters of specific coursework in ear training, using the George Wedge method and materials. In this series of courses, I developed excellent audiation, that internal or non-physical sense of hearing that both singers and instrumentalists need in order to scrutinize and adjust their own intonation. From this experience, I carried away such a well-developed sense of relative pitch that I can recognize many specific pitches, similar to someone with perfect pitch. As a certified music teacher, I am charged with helping students develop these same skills, which I have done with students aged 5 to adult.
As a state certified ESL (English as a second language) and music teacher, I have an endorsement to teach all grade levels, early childhood through grade 12. This means that I am well familiar with the developmental, social, and intellectual aspects of children of all ages. What's more, I am also state certified to teach general academic subjects to students in grades 4 through 8. Though most of my experience is with those middle grade students, I have also worked often as a public school tutor and substitute teacher in Kindergarten through third grade, reinforcing and supporting students' general academic learning. Though I am a strong English language arts teacher, my math and science instruction is superb and social studies may be my best subject. My graduate training included curriculum design at all levels, and I specialize in integrating all the content areas and technology into project-based lessons.
Being a state-certified, all-levels ESL teacher - with classroom ESL teaching experience - and having advanced training in applied linguistics, I understand how to help students of all ages develop & improve their command of English. In addition, my early childhood writing experiences, my advanced language learning - including both English & German, and my experience assessing student standardized writing tests not only prepare me to assist with comprehensive language learning, but also make me sensitive to the stress students face when learning language.
I am qualified as a general music tutor due to my private and school training since age 11, more than 100 semester hours of university undergraduate training, 26 semester hours of university graduate music training, more than 40 years of music performance experience, more than 35 years private teaching experience, and that I am a state certified music teacher with about 15 years professional experience. After several years performing in the elementary school choir, I took up the violin and performed in school orchestras from ages 11 to 18, took private violin lessons, and began performing professionally in the Beaumont (Texas) Symphony Orchestra before entering college. I entered college as a violin major, but also studied and performed on the bassoon, string bass, and recorder, and I composed and arranged music. As a college freshman, my music theory knowledge was sufficient to place me in the second semester of the music theory course and I began teaching violin and string bass lessons to young local children. I also continued performing professionally as a member of the Lake Charles Symphony (Louisiana), and, over the years, I have continued performing and teaching private lessons, and eventually completed all the requirements for music teacher certification. I worked part-time as an orchestra director and violin tutor from 1993 to 1998, then full-time as an orchestra director from 1998 to 2003 and 2007 to 2012, and, in 2009, I studied the Kodaly Music Education method and learned how best to teach general music to children.
I was a university undergraduate music major for three years and studied piano for a total of 6 semester hours during that time. I learned and developed excellent basic technique, including appropriate fingerings, hand positions, use of the pedal, posture, and elementary piano literature, and I performed a jury examination at the end of each semester. I learned to sightread and improvise simple accompaniments, which I often use in the course of my string instrument teaching, and I've used my piano skills as musical director of stage musicals.
As a state certified music teacher, specializing in instrumental music, I consider piano an important basic instrument to use with children, and I have often used it in my classroom to demonstrate literature, music theory, and harmony. While I am not a professional piano performer, I've learned the basic lessons of the piano well enough that I am able to prepare beginning and intermediate pianists to study with professional pianists.
Besides university training and practice in public speaking, and many oral presentations to my classmates, I have worked for decades in clubs, associations, and societies affording me many opportunities to deliver speeches and other oral presentations for a variety of purposes. As a performing artist and experienced speaker, I have long overcome stage fright, know how to control my body and voice, and I feel very comfortable in front of an audience and commanding their attention. Furthermore, being a professional classroom teacher, I have prepared and presented pertinent material in front of students and colleagues for two decades. My research, organization, and preparation skills are excellent, and I know how to help others learn to prepare, organize, and present, so that they use their body, voice, and material to their best advantage.
Though I'm qualified in all core content, mathematics came naturally for me and has been my strongest subject. I somehow found high school algebra and geometry to be very easy, and I scored in the top 6% of the nation on SAT Math. In college, I continued my math training with pre-calculus, linear algebra, statistics, and business analysis, and used my deep understanding of math for years as a manager and salesman after graduation. Now, as a teacher, I find that my previous real-world experience using math every day enables me to help students find a way to apply the principles of logic to manipulate numbers and equations.
Recently, in graduate school, I learned to use statistics and research design principles to resolve research questions, an experience that further deepened my command of mathematical concepts, and, in another of my major courses, I was an integral member of a team that analyzed the standards and objectives, designed and planned instruction, and created assessments for an entire unit of high school linear algebra. Finally, my test-taking strategies are very clever, and I can share a variety of tips to ensure that my students think carefully and check their own work accurately.
Requiring a combination of several musical skills, sight singing is a complicated course of study that can occur at any level, young beginner to expert adult. I have read music since age 11 and gained fluency in both treble and bass clefs before graduating high school. I went on to study music theory for three years as a university undergraduate music major and learned to read all the remaining clefs. As part of my music theory and ear training, I not only read music of every clef, but also demonstrated my internal audiation by singing excerpts and songs on sight, without aid of any accompaniment or prompting. I have since had many occasions to practice these skills - auditioning for and singing in musical shows, impromptu singing with choirs and barbershop quartets, and as part of my music teaching. My university graduate training included 6 semester hours of Kodàly music education, in which I learned specific techniques for training students of all ages to read music, audiate what they read, and show their understanding by sight singing. Finally, as a certified music teacher, I have integrated sight singing into my instrumental curriculum and teach all my students that the voice is their first or original instrument, and that it enables them to demonstrate their understanding directly, unhindered by instrumental technique.
As a long-time music and general subjects teacher, I have worked successfully with students' special needs in a variety of contexts. In more than 20 years of working with music students, I have learned to work positively and constructively with students of every background, including those having learning disabilities and other special needs, and found means to help them learn, interact, and perform effectively. From 1994 to 1998, my work included gifted and talented students in a special university-based program supervised by a Ph.D. psychologist. From the beginning of my initial training to become a certified teacher, I tutored special needs students, from preschool students with severe congenital disorders to secondary students whose special needs stemmed from dangerous accidents or other trauma. During the 2010-2012 school years, my assignment included work in Content Mastery, where I tutored individual students with learning disabilities and helped them to understand and complete work for all their classes. Due to my students' varied disabilities, academic strengths, and backgrounds, and with advice from my special education colleagues, I learned to tap into each student's knowledge and abilities and to modify instruction to meet their individual needs. This experience with special needs continues to serve me every day as an all-levels general subjects itinerate educator, needing to quickly evaluate students and determine their best learning approach. Finally, my graduate school work included specific training and research relating to students' special needs, especially ADHD, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorders.
A long-time certified all-levels educator with advanced pedagogy training, I performed well in both undergraduate and graduate courses and learned much about how students best learn at every stage of development. In particular, my coursework in Secondary Curriculum and Methods, Classroom Management, Human Growth and Development, Philosophical Foundations of Education, Strategies of Secondary Teaching, Evaluative Techniques, and courses in teaching reading in both elementary and secondary schools prepared me to use a variety of current rigorous and relevant techniques to help students organize their effort, work efficiently, and maximize their learning in every subject. I learned how to help students plan ahead and think strategically, to consider every parameter, every possibility, and every nuance to determine their best approach to each task. I have many years of experience helping students improve important study skills, such as reading more critically, taking great notes and organizing them effectively, planning their own homework and study sessions more effectively, reflecting on their own work and progress, and identifying areas for improvement and topics for further research, guiding students to utilize their best efforts very efficiently. As a zealous general educator, I am very competent and effective in every core subject, and my ability and desire to help students study successfully both transcends and encompasses all subjects, making me an ideal study skills tutor for students from elementary school through college.
I am qualified as a violin tutor due to my own private lesson and school training since age 11, nine semester hours of university training, more than 35 years performance and tutoring experience, and that I am a state certified music teacher specializing in string orchestra. As a middle school student, I performed in the school orchestra and began my private training with the school orchestra director by taking one 30-minute private lesson each week. By age 13, I continued my lessons at a more advanced level with another teacher for 45 minutes each week through age 15. By age 17, I earned my first professional job performing in the violin section of the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra (Texas) and, a year later, went to college as a violin major. As a college freshman, I immediately began teaching violin lessons to young children and continued performing professionally as a member of the Lake Charles Symphony (Louisiana). Over the years, through changes in my major and even non-musical careers, I continued performing and teaching private lessons, and eventually returned to music as a career, becoming a school orchestra director and completing all the requirements for music teacher certification. I worked part-time as an orchestra director and violin tutor from 1993 to 1998, and then full-time as an orchestra director from 1998 to 2003 and 2007 to 2012. Of course, I tutored my violinists as needed and tutored several other violinists as my time permitted.