I received my undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. I then challenged myself further and earned a Masters Degree in Bassoon Performance from Boston University. I also worked with the Children's Theater Company of New York City while in grad school developing musical theater curriculum and directing plays. After graduation, I lived in Haifa, Israel where I volunteered for 18 months with people from 80 countries around the world! I finally came home to Oklahoma after 9 years. 7 years after finishing my Masters Degree, I decided it was time to pursue a doctoral degree in Bassoon Performance at the University of Oklahoma. I finished three weeks before my daughter was born. Currently, I am the only person who has earned a doctoral degree in the Bassoon. When I began teaching in schools, my first job was teaching Elementary Music and Gifted and Talented classes. I then taught fifth grade Social Studies and moved on to high school Biology and middle school Science. I have also been a professor of music at Oklahoma City University for over ten years. I'm certified to teach Math, Science, and Music, but I also have a passion for History, World Cultures, Study Skills, and Writing. I have been teaching private bassoon and oboe lessons for 20 years and feel very blessed to be both a professional performer and educator. My goal as a teacher is to empower my students to become lifelong learners and lovers of knowledge. I love to travel, and have been to all of the lower 48 states, as well as many different countries. I love sports, jogging, horseback riding, and cooking. I find it especially enjoyable to bring my adventures back to my students and encourage them to go make their own throughout their lives!
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Texas - Bachelors, Music Education
Graduate Degree: Boston University - Masters, Bassoon Performance
ACT Math: 32
ACT Science: 34
AP Music Theory
College Level American History
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
High School Chemistry
High School English
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Science
Middle School Writing
Study Skills and Organization
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first lesson, I like to get to know the student in order to figure out the best way to guide them. I like to find out what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. I also emphasize that I work as a team with my students and that we are on this road of learning together. Developing a camaraderie is imperative for a good tutor/student relationship.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I emphasize to the student the importance of creativity, study skills, organization, positivity, and confidence. Instead of just telling the student the answer, I help them reason their way through the problem and encourage curiosity to gain knowledge about everything.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
In order for a student to stay motivated, they must experience success along the way. I encourage my students to focus not only on what they need to improve, but also what they have already learned. I also work hard to gain the student's trust. When a student believes in me, they will believe me when I encourage and motivate them.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
When a student has trouble with a concept, I look at their prior knowledge and meet them where they last feel good about a subject. I then bring them forward slowly, utilizing my creativity to present information in various ways. I also keep persistent and patient, and they figure things out in their minds.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I encourage students to practice as much reading as they possibly can. I also look for topics they are interested in and encourage them to practice with those. As they become better and better readers, I would slowly branch out to less familiar topics and stretch the student's reading palette.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I find that it is alway good for a student to relate to and trust me. I want them to know that we are working as a team, and I am there to coach and support them. I always make sure my students know I trust them and treat them with respect.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I always look for ways to make a topic more interesting. Depending on the student's learning style, I look for creative methods to make over the topic they are having trouble with. I also point out the strengths they have probably forgotten while worrying about the subject they are struggling in.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I ask questions about the material which are not only on the surface, but also questions which require an application of the material being covered.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that every student is capable of great things. With the right guidance, attitude, and method, they can achieve their goals. All I ask of them is that they always try their best.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I make sure to point out the strengths and achievements of the student. I stress to them that everyone is good at some things and struggles with others. If we are working on something they are struggling with, I go back to a point in their knowledge where they are confident in that subject and build from there. I always stress the idea that if something is difficult, don't let it defeat you... let it inspire you!
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I ask the student what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. Through a conversation with them, getting to know them and how they view themselves, it gives me one half of the puzzle. I then assess the fundamentals and go from there. Once I know their emotional state and where they are in their studies, that information helps me develop a plan of action.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I am willing to try any method I can come up with to help a student grasp concepts. If something doesn't work, I'll keep trying different methods as long as it takes. I love using creativity, art, music, visual aids, metaphors...anything it takes to help a student on their path.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I can use visuals, dry erase boards, metaphors, music, art, analogies, popular culture, etc. It depends on the student, the subject and their learning style.