As promised (late as always), I'm writing to let everyone know I'm safe and sound in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, if you didn't already know. :)
So far, I'm enjoying classes at Malaysia Music Teacher's Training College, where I'm studying Suzuki Violin and some Early Childhood music education classes. Yes, I already have a master's degree from Indiana University, but I'm taking classes here because their education mission intrigues me. Plus, you can't beat the really nice weather here!
The violin classes are important to me because as a conductor with a woodwind background, I need to learn and experience what string techniques and pedagogy there is out there to become more effective in getting what I want out of the string section, which is the core of any orchestra out there.
While Suzuki method gets a bad reputation in a lot of the music education circles I've been in the U.S., I think I've taken enough of the coursework so far to understand that it may have been taught improperly over there, or perhaps applied improperly to incorrect target ages (i.e. older students) without applying additional pedagogy techniques and philosophies to adjust for the different mindsets and learning stages (thus, the Early Childhood Development classes come in very handy). I'll write more as I discover more.
Anyway, I'm getting back into the website admin swing of things, and will be applying some much needed updates to this website. I'm trying out Disqus comments, for example.
Talk soon. Back to practicing. :)