TEACHING

I have been teaching music and technology for over 10 years, including private instruction and higher education. I am the Music Studio Manager and on the music technology faculty at University of New Haven. I am also on the Music Production and Recording Arts faculty at Mercy College. I have taught previously at Ramapo College of New Jersey, York College CUNY and New York University. In addition to teaching, I have worked on curriculum development and assessment for many of the institutions where I have taught. I have also taken on administrative positions at many institutions as well, including University of New Haven and The Juilliard School.  

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

Flexibility is a key trait in any educator. Every student is unique, with their own learning style and learning pace. When teaching any topic, I try to get to know the students as best I can. I learn who the students are, what they are looking to get out of a class, and how they generally like to work. By maintaining flexibility in this process, I can personalize the class to their individual needs as much as possible.

I strive to inspire growth by showing students what is out there, and what is possible; get them out of their comfort zones. If I teach things they already know, they won’t learn anything. I like to use new technologies, and old technologies in novel ways to bring students a broader perspective and encourage creative solutions to complex problems.

Hands on, interactive learning is key, especially when working with technology, but this should not undermine the importance of having a solid grasp of theoretical fundamentals. I strongly believe the classroom needs a heaping helping of both the theoretical and hands-on, presented to the students simultaneously. If you are not using the theoretical knowledge in your hands-on work or vice versa, the two will become completely separate from each other. In actuality, they are necessarily complementary, informing on each other. Spend as little time as possible showing people how to do something. People learn so much faster if they do things on their own and make mistakes along the way.

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© 2020  Jarrod Ratcliffe