Over the years I have performed on many occasions - weddings, church services, public events, and private concerts - but as with many other musicians, mostly there was no recording made. Alternatively, if there was a recording, I never heard it or obtained a copy of it.
So, now I am very pleased to be able to share three recordings with you from my years as a Bachelor of Music student at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane.
The first - a recording of most of the flute sonatas by J.S. Bach - was completed at the home of one of Australia's leading harpsichord builders over the course of a day in 2002 using a two-manual French instrument. Some are for flute & continuo (in this case harpsichord & cello), and the others are for flute and harpsichord (in which case, the roles of both instruments are of equal importance).
The second - a recording of one of the smaller preludes & fughettas by J. S. Bach - was part of a series by the harpsichord students of Ms Huguette Brassine performed in the concert hall of the Queensland Conservatorium on a single-manual French instrument. This was my contribution to that recording.
The third - a complete recording of Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 - was performed live by a double choir and orchestra around the balconies of the Conservatorium. My role was chamber organ continuo, which meant I played in almost all of the movements. The organ was tuned to 'meantone' temperament, and all performers used period instruments. I was very proud of being able to support such musical forces working entirely from a figured bass score throughout. Personally, it was the culmination of my three years there. A short video of one of the movements is included below. In part of it you will see me (complete with spectacles and moustache) playing.
The final four video recordings were made in 2011-2012 as part of the famous 'Ximen Shamans', also sometimes called the 'Ximen Demons'. Mark Daves on trumpet and myself on piano performing some jazz standards at Ximen Elementary School, Hsinchu City, Taiwan. We worked together as English teachers and played for fun on the side. The items are : 'Call Me', 'Days of Wine and Roses', 'Dancin' Cheek to Cheek' and 'Moon River.
I sent this email today to respond to a posting about a principal who threatened a family with serious consequences if they stood in the way of their son completing a standardised test. The original post is here:http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/04/tell-bully-principal-how-you-feel.html
I hope you will look at the case and consider taking some action too.
Sadly what your vision statement lacks is the same respect, acceptance, celebration or valuing of parents. In fact it doesn't even mention parents.
You can hide behind rules if you like - I suppose your job depends on it to some degree - but it is more fundamental to recognise that parents, not legislators, have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, and for the choices of how and where that will happen.
So, I do not agree with your approach to student Joseph. It will do nothing for your attempts at forging a school-home partnership, especially if your approach is that the school is right and parents are wrong. This is an unequal partnership at best, and sounds quite hollow given your threats of intervention.
Sure, you have the 'discretion' to contact CPS, but equally you have the choice not to. If you want to work with parents, I would respectfully suggest that such an approach would be counterproductive.
More fundamentally, you are violating both the rights of Joseph and his parents. I refer you to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (a much higher authority than you quoted in your email). In particular, I would highlight:
(1) governments should respect the rights of parents in guiding their children (you do not)
(2) governments are to assist families in nurturing their children (you are trying to separate them)
(3) when making decisions, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinion taken into account (did you even talk to Joseph?)
(4) children have a particular responsibility to respect the rights their parents, and education should aim to develop respect for the values and culture of their parents (if you don't respect their values, how much less will Joseph do so by following your example?)
I suggest you should re-consider your position, apologise to Joseph, his family, any other students and families you have abused, and, finally you should act as an advocate for families rather than their adversary by lobbying for them with legislators in your State who obviously are disregarding rights accepted by the US government on behalf of the country.
Some useful ideas that I would also support – particularly using the textbook as only one of many resources, drawing out students’ existing knowledge and skills, and providing useful material for life beyond the classroom.
However, I don’t think we should be considered bad teachers if we haven’t updated our lessons for next week with new stuff on the Internet this week. Not everything changes that fast, not everything that is new is good, and not everything that is “last week” is bad.
Also, as an English language teacher, I’m afraid your proposition of no longer teaching content won’t work.
How are Taiwanese elementary school kids supposed to learn English if all I do is show them “how to find, access, analyze, understand, and create content”? I assume I would have to get my Chinese co-teacher to write this in their first language and then leave it up to them to discover what they need by themselves.
They would then some how search the English web – not easy when they can’t read, write or type English characters, there are few computers available and I only see them 40-minutes per week – work out what would be appropriate – again not easy as they can’t read English – and then show me their great discoveries. Of course, they wouldn’t be able to explain to me what they discovered, as I don’t speak Chinese and they won’t have magically learned how to speak English.
Oh, I forgot to mention, some of these are grade one students (about 5 years old).
Come on, this just won’t work in my situation. What about those that teach students to play a musical instrument? What about those that teach ballet or sport? According to your proposition, they can just read about it or watch it on the Web and go out and play.
Honestly, what is required in your remarks is the context you are speaking about. When you say ALL teachers, you should clarify the educational sector you are talking about. That way they might make more sense to those of us not working in that environment.
Posted on May 23, 2010 at 4:32 AM on http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/hunter-gatherer-teacher/
Back to front – the progression from elementary to university teaching in Korea.
I couldn’t agree more. The weird part about it is that Koreans, without realising it, actually know that teaching small children English is very difficult too. How? By providing a co-teacher who speaks their first language! You won’t find these in high schools or universities.
Teaching older students, by comparison, is a snap! By the time they get to university they’ve already had years and years of English lessons and they WANT to improve. So, there are also fewer motivational issues. This, in turn, means you don’t NEED to find ways of endlessly entertaining them.
Marisa, you will be reassured to know that a number of us here in Taiwan teaching elementary kids are over 50 and registered teachers in our home countries.
Peter may be surprised to know that we teach kids from grades 1 to 6 – so some are only 5 years old! And, at cram schools, they might be as young as 2 1/2. (Don’t worry about grammar – worry about incontinence!!!)
Anna and Barbara – spot on!
Jason, my only additions would be to say that (1) from what I’ve observed, in China a university job in EFL is often paid the same or less than a school-aged teacher, and (2) if you want to be at the bottom of the social ladder, tell people in these countries that you teach English. Just about any other subject teacher will be given more respect.
Thanks for a very stimulating discussion.
Posted on Jason Renshaw’s Weblog by: Greg Quinlivan | May 16, 2010 at 12:42 PM
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