NewsBlog Editor’s Note: This post is the first of a series in which MIE Concentration students have volunteered to share excerpts of their emergent MIE course portfolios. Graduate student Bianca Garcia has graciously volunteered to be our first portfolio example.
This blog is a sneak peek of my MIE511 Portfolio entitled, â€œMultiple Personasâ€.Â In my portfolio I will attempt to define the concept of a â€œPersonaâ€, describe my own personas as an artist, private teacher, and outreach performer, as well as answering the main inquiry I had throughout my time in the MIE Graduate Seminar with Professor Larry Scripp.Â
The first chapter of my portfolio will feature my mission statement. It also will feature two inquiries: What is a â€œPersonaâ€? & How does one best divide time between teacher and student activity in performance outreach?Â Furthermore, the first chapter will highlight excerpts of my answers to Prof. Scrippâ€™s â€œPersona Questionnaire.”Â
The second chapter will give a perspective of my persona as a private flute teacher.Â Towards the end of the MIE511 Graduate Seminar I obtained a new flute student, which gave me a chance to create a new persona as an Artist-Teacher-Scholar.Â The role of the â€œScholarâ€ had been revealed to me by an in-class portfolio exhibit by Laura Umbro.Â The concept of documentation in private lessons was impressed upon my mind and as a result, I formulated a â€œLesson and Practice Notesâ€ guide that would provide documentation of student progress, as well as foster the studentâ€™s own persona as an artist-scholar.Â It also implements the Learning Through Music (LTM) Five Fundamental Processes that are intrinsic to fully engaged learning in music.Â Another reason for my creation of the aforementioned guide was because my philosophy on private lessons had been stimulated by words of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi.Â Below is part of a Double Entry I had written (with Csikszentmihalyiâ€™s quotes on the right and my words on the left).
|â€œâ€¦if an organism learns to find a positive experience in doing something that stretches its abilityâ€¦youâ€™re likely to learn new things, to become better at what youâ€™re doing, to invent new things, to discover new things.â€||This quote describes the quintessential pedagogyâ€”one that stretches a studentâ€™s ability through positive experience.Â This positive working energy spawns other excess work, such as learning more than is required, becoming better than required, inventing new ways to overcome obstacles and discovering on their own, outside of lessons.|
|â€œWhen you begin to enjoy things that go beyond survival, then thereâ€™s more of a chance to transform yourself and to evolve.â€||Enjoying things that go beyond survival- in terms of a music studentâ€™s survival means avoiding being thrown out of a teacherâ€™s studio.Â Instead, if a student gets beyond survival and starts evolving and can hear their playing transformâ€”then theyâ€™ll be enjoying themselves!|
Finally, my portfolio will feature my persona as an outreach performer.Â Again material from my Persona Questionnaire will be displayed, this time including real-life experiences from my many years of performance outreach.Â It also will feature a special chart I made that covers outreach performances from 2002 until this year and shows the ratio of performer versus audience activity in each outreach and documents a steady direction I have taken in dividing activity between the two.Â The creation of this chart was made in response to my main inquiry and with inspiration from various articles recommended by Prof. Scripp and colleagues in my MIE511 class.Â Among these articles was â€œCrossing Boundariesâ€ by Gail Burnaford in which she describes Music-In-Education as â€œentrepreneurshipâ€. Â According to this simile, Music-In-Education would then require creativity, pioneering, and fulfilling needs.Â I believe this description would find a parallel in the Artist-Teacher-Scholar framework as fulfilling needs definitely aligns with the persona of an artist, creativity with a teacher, and pioneering with a scholar.Â Another article I read from class suggestion was â€œThe Teaching Artist and the Artistry of Teachingâ€ by Eric Booth.Â In this article, Booth quotes an old adage: â€œ80% of teaching is who you areâ€.Â This quote struck me and caused me to reflect on my former collaboration with the From the Top radio show.Â I started an internship with the From the Top radio showâ€™s Education department at the beginning of Spring Semester; however, I had formerly been a From the Top â€œcultural leaderâ€ as a teen flutist.Â Something about the experience had felt really powerful and meaningful.Â I was not a certified educator and had never taught a class, but children in schools that I had visited enthusiastically received my performance- wanting to hear more than I had prepared, wrote letters to me that looked up to me as a person, and expressed their desires to start playing my instrument.Â Later, I learned From the Topâ€™s mission through their education programâ€”â€œwe provide a platform for young artists to present themselves, share their passion, and develop into inspirational peer models.â€Â These aspects of teaching shine through outreach performance.Â They both also relate to oneâ€™s persona as an outreach performer.Â Musicians in any educational setting are role models, as teachers or visitors, and children are imitators and balls of energy; therefore, we must be at the peak of our behavior and musicianship while presenting for them and our presentations must involve them.
To find my â€œPractice and Lesson Notesâ€ guide, its basis in the LTM framework, and the Ratio of Student/Teacher Activity chart, look at the attachments below.
Bianca Garcia is a graduate flute performance major. An alumna of the Curtis Institute of Music and NPR’s “From The Top” radio program, Bianca has long been involved with performance outreach and is finishing her first year in New England Conservatory’s Music-In-Education Concentration program.