What is your classroom motto or theme? Sing it loud, sing it proud!
I began playing violin in third grade in my hometown of Wilmington, MA. My involvement in the "Strings Attached" orchestra program in Wilmington gave me the amazing opportunity to travel to exciting new places such as England, France, and Italy to play music for local mayors, museum visitors and churches. It was this program, and my amazing teacher, that inspired me to become a teacher myself. I attended the University of New Hampshire and received my Bachelor of Music in music education. I spent eight years teaching General Music, Chorus and Strings in Alton, NH. I also work as a freelance musician and violin teacher. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughters hiking, fishing and gardening.
Why do you love teaching music? I love it when children find a way to express themselves that is all their own. Music has so much variety that anyone can make connections with it and show who they are or how they feel through the music they make.
What defines a great teacher? A great teacher is someone who can find just the right way to make each child thrive in their classroom and bring what they learned out into the world.
What is your favorite lesson to teach? I love to teach a lesson called "My Many Colored Days" to preschoolers and kindergarteners. Through the story written by Dr. Seuss, paired with music and movement, the children learn about the connections that can be made between literature, emotions, colors, and mood in the music they hear and they show their own feelings through the movements they choose to do. It's very amusing and rewarding to see what the children decide to do on black days vs. pink days. They get very creative.
What is your teaching philosophy? Music learning is a lot like language learning, it should begin at birth or even earlier. Children should be hearing and participating in music from the very beginning then as they grow we begin to show them symbols so they begin to read. When they are ready, we work on understanding what the symbols mean when they are put together. Sound before sight before theory.
I also believe very strongly that music should be learned through play. Culturally, music is something that helps us make connections to our past, present, and even our future. Playing music has and is now a way for us to enjoy each other's company. Bringing children together in the music classroom helps them to make connections with each other and their heritage.
Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.