At a Glance
There is much to uncover in Robert's work as an educator, with extensive hands-on experience at virtually every level. In 2018, Robert graduated with his degree in Music Education from Hofstra University, where he was accepted to the program with a full scholarship and graduated with an initial certification to teach music in public schools (grades K–12). As the two-term undergraduate president of the Hofstra collegiate chapter of American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and as a collegiate board member for several other pre-professional groups in music education, Robert facilitated workshops with students of all ages, adjudicated music education festivals, hosted guest clinicians on Hofstra's campus, and represented Hofstra at several national and state conferences.
In 2018, Robert was one of two students to receive the Dr. Herbert Deutsch Music Education Award, the highest recognition that can be given to a graduating senior in Music Education at Hofstra: and, upon graduation, Robert was also inducted as a member of Pi Kappa Lambda (Music Honors Society), Gamma Chi Chapter.
An additional portion of Robert's hands-on education experience includes a summer of work at the prestigious New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) School of Orchestral Studies in Saratoga Springs, New York, where Robert served as a Residential Assistant and viola coach to gifted high-schoolers in addition to serving as an assistant to members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Prior to this, Robert spent two summers working as a Violin/Viola Work-Study counselor at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts on Long Island.
Robert is also fortunate to be making strides at the collegiate level, with a growing body of academic materials emergent from his Master's at MSM and nascent professorship at Hofstra University. Most recently as an independent project, Robert and fellow composer colleague Eliana Fishbeyn (who is leading the research) embarked on a year+-long analysis of the music of their graduate school mentor, Jim McNeely. The forthcoming project, entitled "Jimside the Score," thoroughly analyzes and reduces several of McNeely's lesser-known big band works in tandem with a series of extensive interviews to accompany each work.
Philosophy of Education
Tenets of my educational philosophy: to live and nurture in gratitude—for the ability to experience (and share with others) the Universe under the guise of artistic autonomy and free will.
In dialogue, to create and preserve a style of mind that is malleable like life; to foster all sense of community and dialogue that may emerge naturally from this example of relinquishment.
To illuminate the total power of aesthetic experiences that reflect the capacity of a Creator(s) to create and unmake an endlessly dynamic world of beauty and suffering. In the engaging with art (and in the fostering of a collective consciousness that engages with art), to encourage intelligent and thoughtful construction that aims to venerate the internal logic of our Universe.
Within a safely anchored (but diversely conscious) external climate, I advocate for a learning environment that explores a confluence of forms, styles, and tapestries of thought — all without reservation or judgment. An effective learning environment begins with analysis: one that compels its students to engage with, healthily and exhaustively, all encountered work that is inevitably a gesture of labor from its creator. Whether in written or performance practice, a communal learning outcome requires that we uncover all such patterns and modalities that are artifacts of the human experience. To introspect within and beyond a series of parameters is to see the inherent humanism of all such works.
As an educator, I am thus a catalyst for students who, in their natural consequent to analysis, elect to create. I am appointed to be fully present in the creation process as a mentor — an exhaustive, but fully approachable, resource. Firstly, a prerogative of the educator is that they are of course indisputably proficient in the subject material at hand— equipped for all possibilities of inquiry, insatiable in even their own learning and continued growth. But such expertise must be coalesced with an unceasing empathy, where educational dialogue becomes increasingly relevant and justifiable to the learner. The manners of construction/deconstruction (whether spontaneous or premeditated) must be a reflection of the social needs of the student.
With the appropriate amount of mentor-based scaffolding, students can create, refine, and evaluate experiences that bear the nuance of them as people: art that, through its patterns (and treatment of), is a pronounced and irrefutable statement of its creator and socio-political climate. Questioning, critical listening, and an empathetic exchange of dialogue are necessary for students to extend beyond their convictions as people. With great enthusiasm, I yearn for my students to be ever-present in a dynamic, introspective, and fully enriching learning experience.