In 1998, I was given the opportunity to create and teach an innovative music program from the ground up at Pinewood School in Los Altos Hills, California, and I loved it… except, of course, all the damn kids.
In five years, Pinewood evolved from a school with no music courses to one with a mandatory freshman music history course, an award winning choir, a recording studio that released eight full length student CD’s, and an ambitious musical theater program. I chaired the new Arts, Communication & Technology Department and coached the Varsity Boys Soccer team to its first winning record in years. I take great pride in our accomplishments, and I feel privileged to have been a part of my students’ lives.
Read what students and parents had to say about the program, hear the music we created together, and check out my unconventional course syllabi, all of which was conceived from the ground up — no standard textbooks.
Sounds & Memories From My Teaching Days As “Mr. C”…
- Pinewood Singers… Soundfiles from the final concert of our award winning choir and highlights of an incredible final year
- SWARM (Students Writing And Recording Music)… Songs written, performed and recorded by Pinewood students in the Pinewood Studio
- The Beethoven Rap… A little somethin’ I infamously recorded one afternoon for my music history class over the ’70’s disco hit A Fifth Of Beethoven.
Students’ Words On The Impact Of The Music Program On Their Life…
- Cory Cullinan (for www.YourTrueHero.org)… by Doris Huang
- The CD That Changed My Life… by Seejun Jeong
- It Is Possible… by Nana Kanzaveli
- A Couple Semesters… by Nathaniel Mela
- Student Wisdom & Commentary… I can only tell you that they said it, not why they said it. The future of our country is in their hands…
Parents’ Words On The Impact Of The Music Program On Their Life…
- For The Umpteenth Time… from Jeannine Black Uffelman
- Thank You… from Jeannette Beeger
- Scholarship On The Spot… from Brenda Opine
Assembly Speech I Was Asked To Give…
Curriculum Outlines… Current teachers! Use these course Curriculum Outlines I developed during my five years teaching as you wish. Have fun…
- Overall Curriculum Outline
- Humanities: Music
- Music Fundamentals: Why Music Rocks
- Western Music History: Too Many Notes
- The Divas: A Girls Choir With Attitude
- The Pinewood Singers: A Mixed Advanced Choir
- SWARM: Students Writing And Recording Music
- Advanced SWARM: Same Punks, More Skills!
Teaching Since Pinewood…
I’m currently involved in my dream educational project — recording my musical theatre work Phineas McBoof Crashes The Symphony with the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, opera stars Isabel Leonard and Nathan Gunn, and the entire Doctor Noize voice cast. The album is a 2-Act work of musical theatre introducing kids and newcomers to the amazing worlds of the symphony and the opera. It will be released in 2015.
Don’t believe the lie that fine art music is just for fogies. Great music will open your heart and blow your mind, unless you’re truly duller than the dullest dullard. And you’re not, now, are you?
I didn’t think so.