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Addressing Childhood Trauma in the Classroom

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Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of

Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of maltreated children, the one sure sanctuary is school. However, this idea requires teachers to be actively involved in identifying and caring for the children who need it most. Traumatic childhood experiences leave lasting scars on its victims, so it is helpful if teachers learn how to identify and support children who have lived through them. It is unfortunate that teachers will most likely encounter children throughout their career who have experienced horrendous things, but it is a reality. With this being said, teachers need to develop an understanding of what traumatized children live with, and learn how to address these issues with skilled sensitivity. Schools are not just a place where children learn how to read and write; they build the foundation for a successful life. This project was designed to provide teachers with a necessary resource for helping children who have suffered traumatic experiences. The methodology of this project began with interviews with organizations specializing in working with traumatized children such as Arizonans for Children, Free Arts for Abused Children, The Sojourner Center, and UMOM. The next step was a review of the current literature on the subject of childhood trauma. The findings have all been compiled into one, convenient document for teacher use and distribution. Upon completion of this document, an interactive video presentation will be made available through an online education website, so that distribution will be made simpler. Hopefully, teachers will share the information with people in their networks and create a chain reaction. The goal is to make it available to as many teachers as possible, so that more children will receive the support they need.

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2016-05

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Rolling Down Ramps: A Unit Plan to Address the Urgent Need of STEM Instruction in Preschool

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STEM education stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and is necessary for students to keep up with global competition in the changing job market, technological advancements and challenges of the future. However, American students are lacking STEM achievement at

STEM education stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and is necessary for students to keep up with global competition in the changing job market, technological advancements and challenges of the future. However, American students are lacking STEM achievement at the state, national and global levels. To combat this lack of achievement I propose that STEM instruction should begin in preschool, be integrated into the curriculum and be inquiry based. To support this proposal I created a month-long physics unit for preschoolers in a Head Start classroom. Students investigated the affect of incline, friction and weight on the distance of a rolling object, while developing their pre-math, pre-literacy and social emotional skills.

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2015-05

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The solo piano music of selected contemporary Canadian women composers: database, audio samples, and annotated bibliography

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Women's contributions to the history of Canadian music can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. However, women's achievements then, and still somewhat now, are often overlooked and as a result, piano solo works by Canadian women composers are

Women's contributions to the history of Canadian music can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. However, women's achievements then, and still somewhat now, are often overlooked and as a result, piano solo works by Canadian women composers are largely unknown. The purpose of this study is to promote the wealth of solo piano repertoire composed by Canadian women, and to report the results in an accessible and comprehensible format for students, teachers, and performers at all levels. The research focuses on the most recent piano music by female composers born in or after 1950 whose compositions are available through the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) library. Brief biographies of included composers note their accomplishments, compositional output, and style characteristics. Annotations for the 103 works studied, written by twenty-six composers, include information about harmonic schemes, meters, tempos, durations, dates of the composition, CMC call number, level of difficulty, commissions, musical excerpts, premieres, and style characteristics. The style characteristics section includes composer's notes, technical challenges, musical characteristics, pedagogical values, and other pertinent information about a given piece. Since the goal of this project is to stimulate the awareness of music composed by Canadian women in a truly global sense, the research paper is supplemented by a website--www.canadianwomencomposers.com--that contains all the information found in the written portion of the annotations. This website also offers short audio samples of the compositions. The writer wishes to encourage all students, performers, and teachers to explore this resource, which reveals the richness of solo piano repertoire written by Canadian women composers.

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2011

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Integrating Music in the Classroom

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A look at the benefits of the integration of music in the classroom. This thesis focuses on how music supports brain development and how that affects the ways children learn the classroom. It also highlights how current teachers feel about

A look at the benefits of the integration of music in the classroom. This thesis focuses on how music supports brain development and how that affects the ways children learn the classroom. It also highlights how current teachers feel about integrating music in the classroom and the best practices used for integrating music. Lastly, this thesis contains strategies on how to integrate music in the classroom using the Common Core standards as well as personal compositions written using Common Core standards.

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2013-05

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Gifted learners, dyslexia, music, and the piano: rude, inattentive, uncooperative, or something else?

Description

About piano students who display disruptive behavior and perform far below reasonable expectations, teachers first conclude that they are lazy, rude, disinterested, and/or lacking intelligence or ability. Most dismiss such students from studios and advise parents to discontinue lessons. In

About piano students who display disruptive behavior and perform far below reasonable expectations, teachers first conclude that they are lazy, rude, disinterested, and/or lacking intelligence or ability. Most dismiss such students from studios and advise parents to discontinue lessons. In truth, many of these students are both highly gifted and also have a learning disability. Examined literature shows that the incidence of dyslexia and other learning disabilities in the gifted learner population is several times that of the regular learner population. Although large volumes of research have been devoted to dyslexia, and more recently to dyslexia and music (in the classroom and some in individual instrumental instruction), there is no evidence of the same investigation in relation to the specific needs of highly gifted dyslexic students in learning to play the piano. This project examines characteristics of giftedness and dyslexia, gifted learners with learning disabilities, and the difficulties they encounter in learning to read music and play keyboard instruments. It includes historical summaries of author's experience with such students and description of their progress and success. They reveal some of practical strategies that evolved through several decades of teaching regular and gifted dyslexic students that helped them overcome the challenges and learn to play the piano. Informal conversations and experience exchanges with colleagues, as well as a recently completed pilot study also showed that most piano pedagogues had no formal opportunity to learn about this issue and to be empowered to teach these very special students. The author's hope is to offer personal insights, survey of current knowledge, and practical suggestions that will not only assist piano instructors to successfully teach highly gifted learners with dyslexia, but also inspire them to learn more about the topic.

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2013

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An examination on the influences and establishment of Chopin's personal style through the comparative analysis of his concertos and Hummel's A and B minor concertos

Description

This study compares the Hummel Concertos in A Minor, Op. 85 and B Minor, Op. 89 and the Chopin Concertos in E Minor, Op. 11 and F Minor, Op. 21. On initial hearing of Hummel's rarely played concertos, one immediately

This study compares the Hummel Concertos in A Minor, Op. 85 and B Minor, Op. 89 and the Chopin Concertos in E Minor, Op. 11 and F Minor, Op. 21. On initial hearing of Hummel's rarely played concertos, one immediately detects similarities with Chopin's concerto style. Upon closer examination, one discovers a substantial number of interesting and significant parallels with Chopin's concertos, many of which are highlighted in this research project. Hummel belongs to a generation of composers who made a shift away from the Classical style, and Chopin, as an early Romantic, absorbed much from his immediate predecessors in establishing his highly unique style. I have chosen to focus on Chopin's concertos to demonstrate this association. The essay begins with a discussion of the historical background of Chopin's formative years as it pertains to the formation of his compositional style, Hummel's role and influence in the contemporary musical arena, as well as interactions between the two composers. It then provides the historical background of the aforementioned concertos leading to a comparative analysis, which includes structural, melodic, harmonic, and motivic parallels. With a better understanding of his stylistic influences, and of how Chopin assimilated them in the creation of his masterful works, the performer can adopt a more informed approach to the interpretation of these two concertos, which are among the most beloved masterpieces in piano literature.

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2013

A study of the solo piano works by Owen Middleton (b. 1941): with a recording of selected works from 1962-1993

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Owen Middleton (b. 1941) enjoys an established and growing reputation as a composer of classical guitar music, but his works for piano are comparatively little known. The close investigation offered here of Middleton's works for piano reveals the same impressive

Owen Middleton (b. 1941) enjoys an established and growing reputation as a composer of classical guitar music, but his works for piano are comparatively little known. The close investigation offered here of Middleton's works for piano reveals the same impressive craftsmanship, compelling character, and innovative spirit found in his works for guitar. Indeed, the only significant thing Middleton's piano music currently lacks is the well-deserved attention of professional players and a wider audience. Middleton's piano music needs to be heard, not just discussed, so one of this document's purposes is to provide a recorded sample of his piano works. While the overall repertoire for solo piano is vast, and new works become established in that repertoire with increasing difficulty, Middleton's piano works have a significant potential to find their way into the concert hall as well as the private teaching studio. His solo piano music is highly effective, well suited to the instrument, and, perhaps most importantly, fresh sounding and truly original. His pedagogical works are of equal value. Middleton's piano music offers something for everyone: there one finds daring virtuosity, effusions of passion, intellectual force, colorful imagery, poetry, humor, and even a degree of idiomatic innovation. This study aims to reveal key aspects of the composer's musical style, especially his style of piano writing, and to provide pianists with helpful analytical, technical, and interpretive insights. These descriptions of the music are supported with recorded examples, selected from the works for solo piano written between 1962 and 1993: Sonata for Piano, Childhood Scenes, Katie's Collection, and Toccata for Piano. The complete scores of the recorded works are included in the appendix. A chapter briefly describing the piano pieces since 1993 concludes the study and invites the reader to further investigations of this unique and important body of work.

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2011

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The incorporation of Greek folk melodies in the piano works of Yannis Constantinidis: with special consideration of the 22 songs and dances from the Dodecanese

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Yannis Constantinidis was the last of the handful of composers referred to collectively as the Greek National School. The members of this group strove to create a distinctive national style for Greece, founded upon a synthesis of Western compositional idioms

Yannis Constantinidis was the last of the handful of composers referred to collectively as the Greek National School. The members of this group strove to create a distinctive national style for Greece, founded upon a synthesis of Western compositional idioms with melodic, rhyhmic, and modal features of their local folk traditions. Constantinidis particularly looked to the folk melodies of his native Asia Minor and the nearby Dodecanese Islands. His musical output includes operettas, musical comedies, orchestral works, chamber and vocal music, and much piano music, all of which draws upon folk repertories for thematic material. The present essay examines how he incorporates this thematic material in his piano compositions, written between 1943 and 1971, with a special focus on the 22 Songs and Dances from the Dodecanese. In general, Constantinidis's pianistic style is expressed through miniature pieces in which the folk tunes are presented mostly intact, but embedded in accompaniment based in early twentieth-century modal harmony. Following the dictates of the founding members of the Greek National School, Manolis Kalomiris and Georgios Lambelet, the modal basis of his harmonic vocabulary is firmly rooted in the characteristics of the most common modes of Greek folk music. A close study of his 22 Songs and Dances from the Dodecanese not only offers a valuable insight into his harmonic imagination, but also demonstrates how he subtly adapts his source melodies. This work also reveals his care in creating a musical expression of the words of the original folk songs, even in purely instrumental compositon.

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2011

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Beyond Debussy and Ravel: impressionism in the early advanced short piano works of selected European and American composers

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Musical Impressionism has been most significantly reflected through the works of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). These two key figures exhibit the essence of this art and their piano music remains substantial, influential, and frequently assigned and played

Musical Impressionism has been most significantly reflected through the works of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). These two key figures exhibit the essence of this art and their piano music remains substantial, influential, and frequently assigned and played today. Nevertheless, from a pedagogical perspective, important factors required in achieving a successful performance of Debussy and Ravel's piano music--delicate tone production, independent voicing, complicated rhythm, sensitive pedaling, and a knowledgeable view of Impressionism--are musically and technically beyond the limit of early advanced students. This study provides a collection of short piano pieces by nine lesser-known European and American composers--Edward MacDowell (1861-1908), Charles Griffes (1884-1920), Marion Bauer (1887-1955), Cyril Scott (1879-1970), Arnold Bax (1883-1953), Selim Palmgren (1878-1951), Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) and Federico Mompou (1893-1987). They were influenced by impressionistic aesthetics or composed at one time in an impressionistic manner over a span of their lifetimes and their music provides a bridge to the more advanced impressionistic pieces of Debussy and Ravel for early advanced students. These composers' selected short piano pieces display richly colored sonority through the use of impressionistic techniques such as non-functional harmony (parallel chords and free modulation), exotic setting (e.g. modality, pentatonic and whole-tone scales), ostinato figures, bell-sound imitation, and extended texture. Moreover, personal interpretive elements, such as poetic and folklore references, were incorporated in some piano works of MacDowell, Griffes, Bauer, Scott, and Bax; among them MacDowell and Bax were particularly inspired by Celtic and Nordic materials. Mompou infused Spanish folklores in his individual naïve style. Most importantly, these selected short piano pieces are approachable and attractive to early advanced pianists. These works, as well as other largely undiscovered impressionistic piano character pieces, ought to be a great source of preliminary repertoire as preparation for the music of Debussy and Ravel.

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2011

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An overview of Bohuslav Martinù's piano style with a guide to analysis and interpretation of the Fantasie et Toccata, H. 281

Description

Bohuslav Martinù (1890-1959) was a prolific composer who wrote nearly 100 works for piano. His highly imaginative and eclectic style blends elements of the Baroque, Impressionism, Twentieth-century idioms and Czech folk music. His music is fresh and appealing to the

Bohuslav Martinù (1890-1959) was a prolific composer who wrote nearly 100 works for piano. His highly imaginative and eclectic style blends elements of the Baroque, Impressionism, Twentieth-century idioms and Czech folk music. His music is fresh and appealing to the listener, yet it remains intriguing as to how all the elements are combined in a cohesive manner. Martinù himself provides clues to his compositional process. He believed in pure musical expression and the intensity of the musical idea, without the need for extra-musical or programmatic connotations. He espoused holistic and organic views toward musical perception and composition, at times referring to a work as an "organism." This study examines Martinù's piano style in light of his many diverse influences and personal philosophy. The first portion of this paper discusses Martinù's overall style through several piano miniatures written throughout his career. It takes into consideration the composer's personal background, musical influences and aesthetic convictions. The second portion focuses specifically on Martinù's first large-scale work for piano, the Fantasie et Toccata, H. 281. Written during a time in which Martinù was black-listed by the Nazis and forced to flee Europe, this piece bears witness to the chaotic events of WWII through its complexity and intensity of character. The discussion and analysis of the Fantasie et Toccata intends to serve as a guide to interpretation for the performer or listener and also seeks to promote the piano music of Bohuslav Martinù to a wider audience.

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2011