What do you do?
I am the music teacher and director of Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM), an El Sistema-inspired program that provides string instruction for 600 students in four Juneau schools.
What is your background?
I have twenty years experience in the classroom and was honoured to have represented Alaska’s teachers as the 2011 Alaska Teacher of the Year. I am an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Southeast, where I have taught MAT courses in elementary and secondary education emphasising differentiated learning, brain research, and arts integration. I have recently completed six months in the UK shadowing other Musical Futures Champion Teachers and attending Musical Futures workshops as part of my Fulbright Distinguished Teacher award.
My personal blog – sharing my experiences living in the UK from January – June 2019 as a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching scholar can be found HERE
What are you most looking forward to working with Musical Futures on this programme?
When I was young I lost the confidence to improvise and create my own music. Now, years later and a classically-trained musician I donʼt want my student to have the same experience that I had. I am looking forward to integrating non-formal and informal practices into the structure of an American public school and a Sistema-inspired music room. This is the main reason why I conducted my Fulbright scholarship in the UK: to study the innovative learning approach of Musical Futures
Five Words that sum up Musical Futures
Engagement, enjoyment, democratic, practical, forward-thinking
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I enjoy listening to a wide range of musical genres!