Teaching

Portfolio

Graduate Teaching Assistant in Flute

  • Provide weekly lessons to undergraduate music education and music therapy majors
  • Lead teaching assistant for the undergraduate flute ensemble, tasked with choosing and conducting some of the ensemble’s repertoire, leading rehearsals of repertoire, assigning parts to players, and taking attendance
  • Coach a chamber ensemble (a flute trio)
  • Help with the administrative duties of running a collegiate flute studio
  • Act as the teaching assistant in guest artist hospitality
  • Substitute teach undergraduate performance majors
  • Teach the flute portion of Woodwind Methods to education majors
  • Teach the junior and senior weekly studio class
  • Teach Introduction to Baroque Flute

Orchestra Librarian

  • Responsible for all facets of music preparation including researching the
    purchase or rental of materials, preparing and distributing parts and scores, assigning, assembling,
    breaking down and keeping track of orchestra folders
  • Prepared music for auditions
  • Provided parts to extra and substitute musicians as necessary
  • Maintained the orchestra’s collection of parts and scores in a methodical and organized fashion
  • Catalogued and filed music acquired for the orchestra library
  • Retained an accurate record of all repertoire
  • Tracked all items loaned from the library

Graduate Teaching Assistant in Musicology

  • Responsible for grading and providing feedback on student’s lessons, blogs and tests as well as
    answering student emails. Courses include History of Rock and Roll and History of Jazz
  • Attended a graduate teaching conference and seminar

Tutor for Department of Music

  • Assisted students with coursework in theory, ear training, music technology, and piano
  • Substituted for Professors in theory classes

Research Fellow

  • Acquired knowledge in research methods and techniques
  • Worked alongside faculty to design and develop own research projects
brenna teaching tallahassee youth orchestra
brenna teaching in lecture recital

Teaching Philosophy

It is an absolute delight to have the opportunity to teach students in the applied lesson setting how to tell their musical stories and how to find, nurture, and share the joy of music with others. I strive to meet each student where they are, get to know them as a human (and not just as a student or musician), and understand their musical and career goals in order to best tailor each lesson to their needs.

I use the lesson as a dedicated time to hold each student accountable to the goals we collectively set regarding their artistic and professional pursuits at the beginning of each semester. In this process, I also hold the development of fundamentals, individuality, patience, perseverance, self-reflection, consistency, and most of all, creativity, at the forefront of my teaching. All students are expected to come to their lessons fully prepared with the materials they were previously assigned. Regardless of major, I also have all students work through similar tone, technique, and etude books I consider vital towards building the basic fundamentals of flute playing. These include Trevor Wye’s Tone Practice Book; Marcel Moyse’s De La Sonorite, 24 Little Melodic Etudes, Tone Development Through Interpretation, and Daily Exercises; Taffanel and Gaubert’s 17 Daily Exercises; Ernesto Kohler’s Romantic Etudes; Sigfrid Karg-Elert’s Caprices; Joachim Andersen’s op. 30; and Nicole Chamberlain and Mary Matthew’s Beatboxing and Beyond. While students are all held to these standards, I do vary the assigned solo repertoire according to their individual needs and goals.  

 

I value empowering students towards making their own discoveries, asking their own questions, and crafting their own interpretations. As such, I treat the applied lesson environment as an experiment in which both myself and the student work together to find solutions. This is tangibly done in a number of ways, uniquely suited towards each student’s background, experience, and learning style. For example, when students are having trouble with an assignment, we explore a variety of ways in which we can approach the problem. Whether this means finding other examples that employ similar techniques, composing our own exercises, using an analogy or a visual aid, or using alternative rhythms and articulations, we find a creative solution that resonates with the student. This teaches the student how to identify apply and approach problems, and how to apply past solutions we discovered in lessons in their individual practice time.

 

I consider experience to be one of the best teachers, and as such, encourage my students to participate in numerous outside activities including competitions, attending conferences, and taking auditions. I do my best to inform them of opportunities as they arise and mentor them through the process, whether it yield desirable or non-desirable results. We reflect together on how the experience contributed to their growth and goals.  

I know that not all students I teach will end up pursuing music professionally. However, it is my goal that the skills they learn in applied lessons such as organization, time management, public speaking, creativity, and confidence will transfer to their chosen career path. Ultimately, I strive to help all students enjoy and be enthusiastic about music for the duration of their lives.

Portfolio

Graduate Teaching Assistant in Flute

  • Provide weekly lessons to undergraduate music education and music therapy majors
  • Lead teaching assistant for the undergraduate flute ensemble, tasked with choosing and conducting some of the ensemble’s repertoire, leading rehearsals of repertoire, assigning parts to players, and taking attendance
  • Coach a chamber ensemble (a flute trio)
  • Help with the administrative duties of running a collegiate flute studio
  • Act as the teaching assistant in guest artist hospitality
  • Substitute teach undergraduate performance majors
  • Teach the flute portion of Woodwind Methods to education majors
  • Teach the junior and senior weekly studio class
  • Teach Introduction to Baroque Flute

Orchestra Librarian

  • Responsible for all facets of music preparation including researching the
    purchase or rental of materials, preparing and distributing parts and scores, assigning, assembling,
    breaking down and keeping track of orchestra folders
  • Prepared music for auditions
  • Provided parts to extra and substitute musicians as necessary
  • Maintained the orchestra’s collection of parts and scores in a methodical and organized fashion
  • Catalogued and filed music acquired for the orchestra library
  • Retained an accurate record of all repertoire
  • Tracked all items loaned from the library

Graduate Teaching Assistant in Musicology

  • Responsible for grading and providing feedback on student’s lessons, blogs and tests as well as
    answering student emails. Courses include History of Rock and Roll and History of Jazz
  • Attended a graduate teaching conference and seminar

Tutor for Department of Music

  • Assisted students with coursework in theory, ear training, music technology, and piano
  • Substituted for Professors in theory classes

Research Fellow

  • Acquired knowledge in research methods and techniques
  • Worked alongside faculty to design and develop own research projects
brenna teaching tallahassee youth orchestra
brenna teaching in lecture recital

Teaching Philosophy

Musicians are first and foremost storytellers. Every composition tells a story and every musician uses their diverse range of experiences to tell the story in a unique way. I strive to help each student realize the importance and power of their imagination so they might interpret or write each note as a part of the story they create. I encourage students to listen for the various characters in the story (for example, voicing), how to give them different voices (tone), and how to shape the story line (phrasing). I sincerely believe music is meant to be explored and discovered over and over again.  

I have had the wonderful privilege of learning from my experiences with a diverse range of students regarding their skill, age, and gender. For example, I had the opportunity to provide weekly piano lessons to a disabled adult student greatly struggling with class piano. In order to begin our studies, we first had to tackle her “I-can’t-do-it” attitude. Only after we established a positive mindset were we able to address other issues. Over the course of the semester, we discussed how she was spending her practice time and devised practice techniques to fit her specific abilities. For example, we warmed up with finger exercises apart from the keyboard to allow her coordination and speed of accuracy to improve. Over time, she began to progress, and in fact excel (with an ‘A’ on the final!), in class piano. I have been able to apply the concepts and ideas of what we did in her lessons to other classes as well. This has created a better individual-suited learning atmosphere for not only the students in my classroom, but the community as a whole.  

In my teaching, I value consistency, the development of fundamentals, individuality, patience, diversity, positivity, perseverance, and most of all, creativity. The act of creating nurtures expressiveness and originality, offers a unique perspective, and provides opportunities for innovative ideas. When students are having trouble with a passage, we explore a variety of ways in which we can approach the problem. Whether this means finding other examples that employ similar techniques, making up our own exercises, or using alternative rhythms and articulations, we find a creative solution that resonates with the student. For example, I had a student who was having incredible difficulty with a particular passage. After some experimenting, I asked her to put the flute down and we analyzed the theory behind the passage, allowing her to recognize the patterns. When she picked the instrument back up, she played the passage effortlessly and flawlessly. I believe examples such as this empowers students towards making their own discoveries, asking their own questions, and crafting their own interpretations. This will allow them to apply the past solutions we discovered in lessons into their own practicing.

I look forward to the opportunity to further apply and develop my philosophies regarding teaching by offering instruction to students under my care. I am eager to learn which strategies work best for future students and cultivate lesson plans specific to their needs.

As Frances Clark once said, “There is music in every child [and everyone!]. The teacher’s job is to find and nurture it.” Whether students become virtuosic musicians or go on to explore something else, it is my ultimate goal and passion to help all students enjoy and be enthusiastic about music for the duration of their lives.

brenna teaching at thomasville ga elementary school

There is music in every child [and everyone!]. The teacher's job is to find and nuture it."

          Frances Clark

Lessons, guest teaching & more

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