Thank you for visiting my online portfolio. On this page, you can watch recordings of ensembles I have directed as well as view sample lessons and assignments. To assist you in understanding my thought process, I have included a short list of strengths and points for improvement with each sample.
Please scroll to the bottom of the page to see ways in which I incorporate composition, reading, and writing into my performance classes.
The above video is from the 2016 Korean National Middle School Honor Orchestra where I conducted the advanced ensemble.
Strengths: In the Jig from St. Paul Suite, the musicians retained and performed my corrected bowing and articulations. The ensemble's use of dynamics and their ability to recover from minor mistakes is very mature.
Points for improvement: While the students were exceptionally well prepared, they were not as prepared for my conducting focus to be on the melody. More conducting attention should have been spent on keeping the beat. On the second piece, there are points where the phrase connections don't feel as natural as they could. Time in rehearsal could have been spent on feeling the tension and release here. The tempo is also too quick.
This video is of the second semester performance of my 6th grade band at Korea International School Jeju in 2016. The majority of the students had only been playing for one year but some had only been playing for this one semester (the majority of the low brass). This is one of the few ensembles that was a full year course.
Strengths: This was the start of their performance and was begun without any introduction in order to elicit a more dramatic response from the audience. This was successful. Minor mistakes, such as the bell player losing a beat were quickly corrected. The tympani player did an amazing job and chose to play a more complicated ossia part and does so very accurately (I wish he had harder mallets). Tonguing in the brass contains variations for multiple styles. There are few players using "who" and "poo" starts to their sound.
Points for Improvement: The theater manager placed microphones over the percussion and saxophones. The levels were different than the sound check levels and, as a result, the balance is off. The ends of phrases are tapered. This is partly a result of the students being tired (as it happens more later in the piece) and partly due to breath control. In class we discussed the mental side of breath control and what a good breath feels like but we did not strengthen the physiological aspects of breath control. The male saxophonist is trying to make up for the shortcomings of his neighbor by playing louder. This is pulling him out of tune.
This video represents the second semester performance of my 7th and 8th grade bands at Korea International School Jeju. This was a one semester only class but about 60% of the students took the class for the full year. This was the school's first attempt at doing a piece with non-standard notation and aleatoric sections. It was a bit of a mental stretch for many.
Strengths: The tubas sounded exceptional on their lowest notes. This was a challenge for them all semester. The off-stage percussion were split into two sections, each with a leader who gave cues, and they did exceptionally. The percussion was effective in it's representation of broken church bells rattling in the wind. The beginning clarinet/soprano sax duet was incredibly in tune and had a mature tone.
Points for Improvement: The flute entrance with the melody in very out of tune. I'm not convinced everyone is using the same fingerings and I know that many are just not in tune to begin with. There is a lack of dynamic range in the recording. The aleatoric "mumbling" sections could use more representation from lower voices to complete the effect.
Poster Vocabulary Lesson
This lesson was taught in a 1-to-1 computer school using Google Slides and Schoology as the classroom management platform. The samples shown are from a 6th grade classroom in their first semester of music.
Description: This lesson was designed to assist the students with learning musical vocabulary. As the majority of the students were English Language Learners as well, more details were added that required them to construct original sentences and create metaphors and similes in English. In order for the assessment to be authentic, the students selected the musical terms from their performance music.
Each poster was graded on a the school's 4 point rubric and inline with the National Music Standard MU:Cn11.0.T.8a - Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life.
Requirements: Each student had to create a poster individually. Each poster had to contain the following pieces of information:
- A title (their musical term)
- The dictionary's definition of their term
- A rewording of the definition in their own words
- A picture to act as a metaphor (either stock or created by them)