VOCAL MUSIC EDUCATION
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN VOCAL MUSIC EDUCATION FROM AUGUSTANA COLLEGE, ROCK ISLAND, IL
MASTERS OF MUSIC, EDUCATION
MASTER OF MUSIC, EDUCATION, FROM BOSTON UNIVERSITY, BOSTON, MA
ORFF LEVEL 1
DEPAUL UNIVERSITY, CHICAGO, IL
ORFF LEVEL 1
I believe that every human is born musical. As we grow older, our environments and life experiences shape the role that music plays in our life. It's my ambition to help every student I meet to find their place in music so that they can grow into creative, caring, expressive, and musical human beings.
Abigail S. Blair
ORFF LEVEL 2, VANDERCOOK COLLEGE OF MUSIC, CHICAGO, IL
ORFF LEVEL 2
BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC
World Composition Styles
Growing up, I never had a traditional music class and am so glad for it. I learned music by experiencing it and seeing it modeled through my family's love of music. I've never been able to think inside in the box.... in fact, I'm not sure I was ever issued a "box" because I've never found it!
When I went to college, I was set on being a high school choir director but I was not meant for that path. High school is where I really found myself musically - I sang as often as possible in church, the family rock band (yes we had one), voice lessons, piano lessons, theater.... anywhere I could get it. I made it into the all-state choir twice, and managed to win my high school talent show performing a singer/songwriter type song on the piano (Bob Dylan went to my high school and got booed off the stage in the talent show, btw... this is my one claim to fame). Entering my freshman year at Augustana College, I was ready to be a music teacher. I dabbled with leading worship and songwriting as well, but everything I did was to become a high school director. Then I student taught, and quickly realized it was too limiting for me. I didn't like the high school paperwork, high school attitudes, or teaching ONLY singing.
In college I had the chance to study world music and ways of learning music in other countries, which has greatly shaped my current philosophy. We know that music is a "world language", but I never truly understood that until I had a lesson on the Chinese zither IN Chinese (which I don't speak). I had no idea what anyone was saying, until I saw numbers written on a page and hear "so, mi, so". Ahh! I was able to follow the teacher's model and solfege and actually learn a song! My senior thesis was on Turkish Sufi music (mystic muslim music), and I found such validity in the master/apprentice format for learning music. Notation is meant for remembering and cataloging music, but is not the only way to learn music.
Now that I've been out teaching in the "real world" for 10 years, I've found that there's nothing more satisfying than learning WITH my students about how music works. No year has repeated itself in my classroom. Each year I learn new strategies and perspectives to share music, and all the new students I inherit show me new ways to enjoy music. I love studying music history, theory, and the development of timbre in ensembles throughout the world. Technology is a fascinating new world and such a great way to present music in ways that encourage higher-level thinking in students' own terms.
I live in the suburbs of Chicago with my husband, two boys, a cat, and a fish (the ants in our ant farm died). I love to run, sing with the worship band at my church, and write music on the side. Check out my connection links above to hear some of my music and to connect professionally. I love to network and get new ideas!
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ORFF LEVEL 3
ORFF LEVEL 3, VANDERCOOK COLLEGE OF MUSIC, CHICAGO, IL