I started this website almost ten years ago because I felt lost at sea. Being from North America, I had grown up in a national system wherein you practiced for concerts and competed in provincial competitions. My understanding of music education was that the teacher told their students what to do, and they did it.  

And then I joined the MYP and my paradigm shifted.

I was in completely uncharted waters for me, and the journey felt rocky. 

I didn’t know what a process journal was and had never heard of a creative cycle.  

Over the years, and with the help of mentor teachers and excellent IB workshops, I became very comfortable with teaching MYP. I felt very confident in sharing all my knowledge on IBO Musical Voyage.

And then “The Next Chapter” came out in 2014 and I was back in uncharted waters. What was the difference between Aiii and Di? What was the difference between Cii and Ciii? What does the word, ‘substantial’ even mean? 

Again, with lots of training and support from fellow teachers, I happily took on the new guide. Besides this, I switched from PYP to DP Music, which was a really interesting and stimulating switch. 

Mr. Dobson’s quote says, “If you are experiencing smooth sailing and easy times, brace yourself; it will change soon.”  That has certainly be true for me right now. We have a new DP Music guide.  In some ways, I’m completely comfortable with it because it’s like a big-kid version of the MYP.  In my IB workshop, I didn’t experience the culture shock that many fellow music educators went through because I was already coming from an IB World School and so already knew inquiry, student agency, constructivist learning, creative cycles, etc.

But this new guide?! Wow. My closest music educator friends and I are grappling with understanding some of the assessments, including “Experimenting with Music.”  We’ll get it soon, and we’ll be back again to smooth sailing. 

And then life will change again.

I’m here to help you on your voyage. I want to help steer you towards calm waters so that you can enjoy your adventures with your students. 

Scroll through some touching reviews and testimonials.

Diploma Programme Music

2014 – Present
– Grades 11 and 12
– Units include 16th Century Modal Counterpoint, Thoroughbass, Bach Chorales, Baroque Free Counterpoint, String Quartets, 18th Century Lieder, Modernism (Impressionism, Minimalism, 12 Tone, Neoclassicism), world music, free and traditional jazz, plus prescribed scores

Extended Essay
2011 – Present
– A Comparative Analysis of Two Performances of Haloversen’s Passacaglia Duo for Violin and Viola after George Frideric Handel’s Suite No.7 in G Minor for Harpsichord
– The  Use of Jazz Compositional Techniques to Reinvent Classical Music for Modern Audiences
– Copyrights: The Use of Paraphrases, Quotations, and References When Interpreting Music
– How Background Experiences Influence Composers: Muse and Romantic Music

Personal Projects – PP Coordinator
2018 – 2021
– leader of the PP team
– duties include: liaising with administration regarding scheduling of staff and student in-house workshops and professional development; supporting mentor team as they care for supervising teachers; assigning students to supervisors; ensuring that NIS meets all IB requirements for the PP process, including accurately uploading moderated samples; organising the exhibition, etc.

Trip Leader
2011 – Present
– Leading a variety of student trips to Discover China week (a.k.a. Trip Week) and Cultural Conventions
– Acting as lead teacher for trips such as Suzhou, Xiamen, Beijing, and Shanghai. Trips included a wide range of grades. A trip to Suzhou included 36 students in grades three – six; A trip to Xiamen included 26 students in grade 10.
– Duties included: Completing all safety protocols, organising room assignments and chaperone head-count groups, liaising with tour guides and/or cultural convention organisers, ensuring safety whilst on the trip, and more.

Middle Years Programme xBlock
2018 – 2020
– Grades 6 – 8
– Supervisor teacher for students undertaking music-related independent study units, including Music Theatre, Songwriting, Music Appreciation, and DJing

Personal Process Projects – Mentor Teacher
2007 – Present
– As part of the mentor team, I support teacher supervisors, lead student workshops, and help develop support resources for the PP coordinator, supervisors, and students
– Topics included composition for flute, composition for guitar duet, arrangement of traditional music for non-traditional instruments, music therapy, and organising a concert

Middle Years Programme Music
2007 – Present
– Grades 6 through 10
– Units include the Elements of Music, Rock, Chinese, World Music, Music Production, Band, Music Theatre, and Film Soundtracks

Primary Years Programme Music
2007 – 2015
– Grade 5
– Units include instruments (ukuleles and recorders), a production, collaboration, and Exhibition

Primary Years Programme Music
2007 – 2010
– Grade 2 through Grade 4
– Units included Technology, Responsibilities, Body Systems, etc.

Early Years – Primary Years Programme
2007 – 2010
– PreKindergarten through Grade 1
– Units included Minibeasts, Emotions, Celebrations, Communities, etc.

Professional Development

2021 University of North Carolina – Fundamentals of Rehearsing Music Ensembles (conducting)
2021 Oberlin Conservatory – Rock Music
2021 – Global Online Academy’s Student Agency – Nanjing
2020 Diploma Programme Music – Category 2
2019 Responsive Classroom: the Improving Teacher and Student Language workshop – Nanjing
2019 MYP Arts Category 2 – Hong Kong
2018 Sustaining an Inclusive Learning Community with Kristen Pelletier & Danette Sack – Nanjing
2018 Differentiation to Support Inclusion with Kathy Perez – Nanjing
2018 Musical Futures with Ann Gower – Hong Kong
2017 ACAMIS Leadership Conference – Nanjing
2016 Systems Thinking with Compass Education – Nanjing
2015 DP Music Category 2 – Singapore
2014 Make Thinking Visible Conference Led by John Hattie – Nanjing
2014 Design Thinking with Ewan Macintosh – Nanjing
2013 Effective Thinking Conference Led by Dylan Wiliam and Ron Ritchhart – Nanjing
2012 Differentiation and Curriculum, Assessment, Instruction Connection – Nanjing
2010 Making the Difference: Differentiation in International Schools – Nanjing
2010 Learning Technology Workshop – Nanjjing
2009 Collaboration Using iLife Tools Workshop – Nanjing
2009 Collaborative Planning in the PYP Workshop – Nanjing
2008 Strategies For Success With English Language Learners Workshop by Dr. Virginia P. Rojas – Nanjing
2008 Digital Education Workshop – Interactive SmartBoard Training – Nanjing
2008 Making the PYP Happen – Jakarta
2008 Learning 2.0 – Shanghai
2007 Understanding by Design Workshop – Nanjing
2007 ESL in the Mainstream for the Early Learner Course – Nanjing
2007 Jiangsu Regional New-to-MYP Training – Nanjing
2007 MYP Performing Arts – Open – Beijing