Hello, and welcome to my blog!
I am a musician and voice teacher who has always been drawn to the ideas around why we do what we do and how we can do those things better. I don’t just mean making music, performing, teaching, and learning; I mean how we treat each other, and how we can make our world a better place by improving how we interact with each other and work together.
I have been working in classical music and musical theater education for over twenty years, starting in elementary and primary schools and community programs, and then moving onto cultural institutions and a college conservatory faculty all the while working with professional performers. Two years ago I decided I was done with full time academia—or at least academia in the arts as it is now—and joined an international program in Applied and Professional Ethics as a student myself to study how the arts and we as artists can improve our world. All of these experiences and the relationships I have had along the way have given me an insider’s view of institutions and the people and processes within them; both how they operate and how they fail people. Although the arts bring a great deal of joy and measurable good to the world, they are as a field also often dysfunctional and unreflective, and they can be real sources of harm for people.
My aim here is to address this range of good and bad by discussing topics that many arts blogs do not: how ethics intersect with the performing arts and arts education, how we think about ourselves as artists and our place in the world, how we teach, how we communicate inside and outside of our own communities, and how we manage workplaces, resolve conflict, plan policies, educate, and create.
Like most artists and arts educators, I have had to learn by doing. Sometimes that has been without much guidance, or guidance I trusted. Other times I have been fortunate to be encouraged and challenged by extraordinary mentors. All the times I have been an imperfect person trying to figure out the best way to do the things I do and help others along the way. If you are still reading this, I assume you can say the same things about yourself. So, if you are also interested in how we can become better teachers, administrators, program developers, community organizers, thinkers, creators and practitioners in the arts, I hope you will join this conversation!