by Kirt Mosier.
Published in Orchestra America, April 2018.
When we consider being a teacher in any capacity, there is no denying that we must be a leader and a manager of people. Without organizational and relational skills, we find ourselves with a mind full of musical knowledge but no one with whom to share it.
Before tackling leadership and management techniques we must consider our philosophy. My philosophy of teaching is the following: “I teach excellence and the dedication it takes to be excellent – music is the discipline that I use to teach these concepts”. Looking at this simple philosophy, we see music is listed as a “discipline.” Music is relegated to a “discipline” because we are developing young minds to systematically approach, problem solve, collaborate, interpret, and hone physical skills. All of these are great life skills. Surely the byproduct of teaching these important concepts will be great music! When we operate out of this philosophy base, we never run the risk of making the subject matter more important than the subjects themselves.
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Conductor, 2018 High School Honors Band (Carnegie Hall); 2018 High School Honors Orchestra (Sydney Opera House); 2017 and 2016 High School Honors String Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); 2017, 2016 and 2014 Middle School Junior Orchestra (Carnegie Hall)
Kirt Mosier, recently retired as Director of Orchestras at Lee’s Summit West High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has also taught orchestration and arranging as an adjunct professor at UMKC Conservatory of Music in Kansas City.
Not only is he a sought after composer, but also has twice won national composition awards. In 1993, his original work, Baltic Dance, won the National School Orchestra Association Composition Contest, and in 2004, American Reel won the 2004 Merle J. Isaac national composition contest.
From 1990 to present, Mr. Mosier has conducted numerous orchestras throughout the United States and internationally. In addition, he has frequently served as keynote speaker at various conferences and events. Mr. Mosier has been the past orchestra vice-president for the Missouri Music Educators Association, and is currently the president-elect of American String Teachers Association for the state of Missouri. Mr. Mosier was also a quarterfinalist for the 2016 Grammy Music Educator of the Year award.
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