Philosophy

As a teacher, I strive to be…

  • a person of integrity and a role model for my students.
  • sensitive to all of my student’s needs and backgrounds.
  • a life long learner.
  • constantly improving by seeking out professional development and feedback.
  • a teacher who does all the things I ask my students to do.

Philosophy of Music Education

  • Each student has musical potential. Music education is for all students regardless of cultural and socioeconomic background and reflects the diversity of American public schools.
  • The music classroom is a supportive environment of teamwork and self-reflection. Music education develops commitment, collaboration, and grit, which are priceless tools for life long success in education and the workforce.
  • Creating music is a powerful tool for students to express themselves when words fail. Music education promotes personal development in emotional intelligence and self-expression.
  • Music is more than an aesthetic experience. Music education leads students to open minded thinking and cultural awareness through critical thinking, creativity, and internal reflection.

Philosophy of English and Writing Education

  • Every student is a reader. Every student is writer. English education is for all students, regardless of cultural and socio-economical background, and imparts literacy to the next generation which is a human right for all people. By learning clear, respectful, and constructive language in the English classroom, students acquire the tools to share their worldviews with their peers and create a safe environment with equality at the center.
  • The language arts classroom has the potential to lead students towards meaningful reflection. English education connects students to the human spirit through universals – metaphysical and existential – in human thought and reflection that are common between cultures and across the span of history. English education empowers students to speak out about injustices and values each individual’s experiences. Language in this way is a vehicle for change and healing as adolescents navigate a stressful period of their lives.
  • The language arts, including reading, writing, and speaking, are essential components of thinking. English education teaches precision of thought and critical thinking through the act of writing. Students come in contact with various forms of text and are surrounded by arguments. English education teaches students to critically analyze sources in a variety of mediums through research and academic writing.
  • Developing student writing and speaking skills strengthens us as a democratic nation. English education gives students the tools for peace making by changing mindsets and defying culture norms through writing. English education teaches essential skills for a student’s full participation in society, digital and physical. Language arts education therefore is morally essential to sustaining a peaceful, functional democracy.

Education

I am pursuing a degree in piano, a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education K-12 Cert. (Piano Principal, Trombone Secondary) and a degree in English, a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Language, Literature, and Writing Education from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Private Piano Teaching

  • Private home studio – I teach privately from my home in Canton, MI.
  • Evola Music – I teach group piano classes (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and private students (Thursdays and Fridays) at Evola Music in Canton, MI.
  • Dearborn School of Music – I teach private piano lessons at Dearborn School of Music in Dearborn, MI (Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays).

While a student at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, I taught a studio of eight students ranging from age seven to sixteen (Spring 2013 to Spring 2015). My students performed a full studio recital in April of 2015. I have experience teaching Helen Marlais, Alfred, Bastien, and Faber beginning piano methods.

Skills

  • solo piano performance
  • private piano teaching
  • group class piano teaching
  • accompanying for instrumentalists and vocalists
  • piano and trombone performance in chamber music/large wind ensembles
  • orchestration
  • public speaking in teaching and entertainment settings
  • creative, academic, and journalistic writing

Current Music Activities

I play classical and jazz piano as a soloist and in ensembles. I studied classical piano in the studio of Joel Schoenhals (Summer 2013 – May 2018) and jazz piano with Mark Pappas.

Piano Ensembles

  • EMU’s jazz combos (Winter 2016 to May 2018)
  • EMU Jazz Ensemble (Fall 2016)
  • EMU Symphonic Band (Spring 2015 – May 2018)

I studied trombone in the studio of Donald Babcock (Fall 2015 – May 2018).

Trombone Ensembles

  • EMU Women Trombone Quintet (Spring 2017 to May 2018)
  • EMU Trombone Studio Choir (Fall 2015 to May 2018)
  • EMU Symphonic Band (Fall 2015 to May 2018)
  • EMU Marching Band (Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017)

Writing and Communications Experience

I was a DJ and Music Director for Hope College’s student radio station, WTHS 89.9 FM (Fall 2013 – Spring 2015).

I published articles weekly in Hope College’s student newspaper, The Anchor, from Fall 2013 to Spring 2015 where I also served as Arts Co-Editor in Spring 2015.

Contact

For more information or employment opportunities, please contact me at aghastin66@gmail.com.

For recordings, check out my YouTube Channel and follow me on Instagram. Also, please like my page on Facebook.