Teaching & Research 

photo credit: Elizabeth Fleming 

photo credit: Elizabeth Fleming 

Elliott (1995) says that "Music teachers….are reflective practitioners who can think-in-action and know-in-action in relation to highly complex and fluid teaching-learning situations." (p. 252). Effective teaching requires extensive preparation combined with the ability and willingness to change direction in an instant—a balance I try to maintain. My personal approach to teaching places a premium on positive relationships, draws on a wide variety of methods and tools, and tries to balance students' needs for ownership, autonomy and choice with their needs for structure, guidance, and direction in the hope of creating independent adult musicians. My experience teaching K-12 for ten years shapes my work as a college professor and researcher. 

For me, research in music education must be informed by, and inform, music teaching and learning in public schools. The voices of actual teachers and students are too rarely heard in the research literature, and many valuable insights in the scholarly literature never make their way to the classroom. As a longtime urban teacher, my research thus far has sought to bring the voices of urban students and teachers to bear on music education scholarship.