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168. Building Community and Compositions with Adrian Gordon

by Lindsay Lyons
June 18th 2024
In today's episode with special guest composer and music educator Adrian Gordon, Lindsay discusses how to build commun... More
Everyone. Today's episode is with Adrian Gordon who is an internationally performed composer and seasoned music editor as a composer with Alfred music and founder of Leap Year music publishing. He specializes in publishing string music for diverse school ensembles. His compositions appear on orchestra, association, music, performance, reading lists across multiple states including California, Florida, Georgia Maryland, North Carolina and Texas. Adrian is a sought after clinician and conductor, sharing his expertise with diverse audiences. He also authored the insightful book Note to Self, a music director's guide for transitioning to a new school and building a thriving music program. Born and raised in Miami Florida. He currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and two sons, serving as the Director of Orchestras at Providence Day School, educational justice coach, Lindsay Lyons. And here on the time for teacher podcast, we learn how to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice design curricula grounded in student voice and build capacity for shared leadership.

I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach. I'm striving to live a life full of learning, running, baking, traveling and parenting because we can be rockstar educators and be full human beings if you're a principal assistant superintendent, curriculum director, instructional coach or teacher who enjoys nering out about core curriculum of students. I made this show for you. Here we go. Adrian Gordon. Welcome to the time for teacher podcasts. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the time. Yeah, I appreciate your time and I'm excited today to talk about all, all things that you do, which is a lot in your new book, which is super exciting. Is there anything you want listeners to either know about you think about just to kind of situate the conversation before we dive in? Well, um I guess I have my tentacles and uh just about everything, education, publishing, uh composing um conducting, performing. You know, I do quite a bit because I love it. And um yeah, that's, that's basically I have a, a portfolio career is what I, I like to say.

So I do quite a bit and, and I really am passionate about music and music education. And uh yeah, I'm just happy to share that with you guys today. Excellent. I'm so excited. OK. So I like to ground the episodes in kind of a, a freedom dream. So Doctor Bettina Love talks about the concept of freedom dreaming as dreams grounded in the critique of injustice, which I just love. And so what is that big dream that you hold as you think about music education, as you think about the spaces that you're in, what is that dream for you? Um You know, this, it comes across as kind of goofy, but there's this comedy skit on. Um I think it's a key and peele and they have this teacher draft and the way they do it, it's very similar to like a sports uh trading, you know, players. But you think about it, you're like, man, these are teachers who are shaping the future, shaping our Children. Why don't they get that kind of respect and gratitude? Um So I guess my big wish was to have that kind of seriousness um in, in relationship to the way we treat our educators, literature, our teachers.

Um and also the way music education is treated again up against the backdrop of sports and athletics. There's a ton of money. I know there's not money that goes into the arts, but it's nowhere near um what you see in, in sports and on all athletics. So a and you know, I think with athletics, you can do that and it's a great discipline for several years. But once your body hits a certain, you know, stopping point, you, it's like you can't continue to do those kinds of things, but you can always play, you can always make music and you can always be in community with others and uh contribute beautiful sounds to the people around you. So I, I think it's so important and I just wish sometimes that it had that same um gravitas that UC athletic programs having. Wow, love the cane reference. Also love situating music against sports to think about that like difference in funding in hype and just like our general culture and society.

And I love that you just named like music, you can literally do forever. I'm thinking about my um my grandma who was like, who had dementia and music was the thing that like grounded her and the thing that brought her back, right? And like that music therapy is, is so popular with the elderly. And I just think about all of the uses and, and also it with my toddler, right? Like music is just this joyous space, like birth to death. Like this is it, right? This is beautiful and an opportunity to engage in whatever way you can like. Oh, so cool. Thank you for that. I know that you've done so much and I know that you also talk about like the role of community in music, which I, I just find a fascinating concept and idea. And so I'm curious to know about what you have done in, in the context or category of like community and music that you wanna share with us, like a kind of a success share if you will. Well, I think first for me, it kind of started with a mindset shift. I, I had to, you know, in my book, uh Not off, I talk about how you kind of have to remember your why versus your what?

So what are we doing? Yeah, we are teaching, we are educating. Um But why are we doing it? You know, we do develop those relationships with these kids and influence them in a positive way, help them guide them. Um And then we understand that music happens to be the vehicle in order to do that. Um So I had to kind of wrap my head around that and think to myself that, you know, yes, I am teaching, but I do first and foremost, need to develop those relationships with the kids. And the by-product of that is a really cohesive program, a really strong program that there's more investment for the kids. They feel accountable to each other, they feel connected to each other. Um And you know, so for me, what did that look like? For me, it looked like sharing the appropriate parts of my life with them. So for example, I'm, I'm very big into composing. So I talk a lot about composing with my students and trying to include them and it's kind of related to what we do in the field of music. Um You know, I'll bring pieces in that they can play and see like the sketches and, and actually play through them.

Um I've been able to help uh students with compositions of their own, which is really special to me. Um Yeah, we do and then other things where we can really get everybody together. So I'll do like, um, pizza nights, uh, with my students. We, we're not focused on anything pedagogical. It's just, hey, let's come in, let's have some pizzas and watch a movie together and we do it after school. So we're not, you know, interrupting any, um, instruction time and what we'll do, like some of the fun things that it's been really successful is we will do pizzas from all over the place and the kids love this and it's so it doesn't cost a ton, especially if you have one person bringing one another person, a person bringing another. Um, so you just get all these pizzas in the room and we do these taste tests and the, the kids feel so invested in it. It's just a cool thing to watch and, you know, it's just part of that community building and, and that's what I think every program needs to have if you really want to make some great music together. Um, because they really, it's hard for them to play well together as an ensemble if they don't really get along.

So, first and foremost, I, like I said, I'd have that mindset shift and then think about ways I could do that. And that's one of the big successes I've had scheduling these really, um, regular community events throughout the school year. I love the grounding in the sense of belonging and community and just like, not even necessarily music. But I also love the pieces that you're bringing in. Like, I'm just thinking like curricular that are music. Like, so they, you're sharing your parts of your life that connects deeply with me. When I was teaching in my second year, I participated in like a slam poetry competition. And so I would like view my pieces, like, test them out with the students who were like, yeah, but then it's like, but now there's space for you. Like, i it's a nice vulnerable piece as the educator when you can say, hey, I'm doing this thing. But that vulnerability really is in service of like the connection and to open you up to do the original composition yourself, which is so cool that you them do that like that is awesome. I'm, I'm, I'm curious to know actually like, how is there a particular way you sequence those?

I'm thinking about, you know, a person who's listening to this like, oh, that actually sounds really cool and I kind of want to do that, but I just don't even know where to start. Like, how, how do you bring that in? Like, what does that look like in your class with helping students compose? You're talking about? Yeah, like a a any of the sequence of things like, do you spend a certain time with like community building first? And then you share and then then you help them in a particular way, share theirs or What's the process? Yeah. Yeah. So when I do stuff like that, the one that I just finished, which I'm really proud of, uh, this, the student, he approached me probably early, early on in the school year. And he said I have been working on this piece. I'd love to show it to you and I, I didn't think he thought anything of it. He showed it to me and I was like, hey, this is really good. Why don't you continue to work on it? I'll kind of coach you through it, some of the aspects of, of composing at the end of the semester at our winter concert. Why don't you perform? Why we perform this, the entire orchestra, the high school orchestra will perform this.

And then on top of that, I think you should conduct it and I should play your instrument. So I'll be in the ensemble and you're conducting and we're literally, I'm passing the baton. So I thought that was really cool. So it was a really cool educational moment where I got to coach him uh through the composition process, coach him through the conducting process and have the students watch uh were observing that learning what goes into uh conducting. It was just like a, a multifaceted uh lesson for everybody. And for me, me too, how to kind of communicate those ideas about composition and then why I'm doing the things up on the podium that I'm doing because I do them, but I don't necessarily think about them because it's, it's just so ingrained in me and to be able to communicate that and pass that along. Um and watch a student develop, you know, compositionally and conducting. It was just, it's fascinating. So there's that element and then I get to bring in my own piece too and really show them, hey, I, I work through things, the things that I'm doing are perfect at first.

But I'm, these are my sketches. I do revisions and edits and, and then I get to bring in the final product. Um So I, uh for example, like last year I showed my students a project that I, I worked on as a composition project with this um youth orchestra out in um New York. And the theme had been Stop Violence, Show Kindness. And I had brought the sketches in and I showed my students. Um and we finally performed it out in New York. But this year I wanted to bring it in and have my, my uh current students play it. And the cool thing about that is I'm able to talk about some of the music theory elements like, you know, some points, I'll just say, hey, all my music theory, kids, what do you see here between, you know, the violin line and the cello line? And they'll say, oh, for music theory, I see contrary motion, you know, and those are really cool connections that they're making. Um So, you know, any way I can connect the dots for them. I, I try and do it. I love that grounding in like the personal like this, this was yours. And they also love like the student leadership element that you're building a lot.

Like there's so many different, like, just very personal things in, in, in this but also just that were, I, I think sometimes in, in any course, in any educational space, sometimes we too divorced that the skills are too divorced from the thing we're trying to do and like the final product and to be able to say, hey, I wrote this thing, we composed this thing we, or, or we played this thing like let's use this for a music theory, like let's just let's use this thing that's super cool. We're already invested in to dive deeper and explore as opposed to, you know, we have to use this thing that's typically used or is this traditional thing or, you know, whatever it's like, no, this is the thing we care about. Let's just use this. Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's a really cool feeling. Um And then I've done other things, like just talk about um personal life. Like I had this one student in my last school and he was a very tough kid, um great kid, but he had, you know, school wasn't his forte.

Um But he was in the orchestra, he stuck with it. I thought he'd quit. I thought he'd give up on orchestra. But I think one of the things that got him hooked was, um, I just would ask him about fishing because he would wear fishing shirts and, and I love fishing too. So I would talk to him about fishing and he would bring me pictures of his weekend fishing and, oh, yeah. Yeah, I caught the same kind of fish, you know, I lived in Florida. That's a peacock bass or that's a slid and he's like, you know, about fishing. I'm like, yeah, I fish all the time. So we would trade our fishing pictures um, and talk about great spots where we go fishing. And I think that really, it, it kind of humanized me and made him see me as, hey, this is an ally, this is somebody who's here to care about me and, and not just be this figurehead, this teacher who's, uh, you know, wagging a finger in your face. Um And this, this kid he stuck with it and which I was very surprised this happened to be, I think one of his favorite classes and I don't think it had anything to do with the music. I just think it had to do with the connection that he made.

So that human element I think goes a long way. And we, we don't even realize how much, um those small, small details can touch a student and really change. And alter their path. Um, like I said, I thought this kid would definitely be long done with music but I think that's that little connection hooked him. Uh, oh, I love that story and it makes me think too about, you know, just like new teacher overwhelmed, for example. So a new teacher is in the same role that you were in and it's just like, how do I even possibly make connections? But I have, you know, so many students or so little time, you know, all the things that often are barriers to doing exactly what you did. Is there some either structure or approach or mindset that you use and have valued in being able to do that kind of stuff because I think some people see it as like an ideal but not like something they can put into practice. No, it's practical. Um And I think the first part is vulnerability, vulnerability. I think you have to have that, um that mindset.

So one of the things that I do that's free, absolutely free. Every class I walk into the class and I say, ok, guys, it's joke of the day and I give him the worst dad joke I can think of or that I can find and the kids, I mean, they roll their eyes. They're like, oh my gosh, you just, you just pierced my heart with how bad that was. But you know what? It's, it's a, it's a way to break the ice. It's a way to let them know. Hey, we're here to have fun. Um, and there's time and place. We can have fun, but we can also do the learning part too. Uh, and I'm here to talk to you like a human being. Not just your teacher again, wagging that finger at you. So that's a real practical thing that I do every single day. Joke of the day. And, um, it works and the kids, you know, at first they're like, no, no joke, joke of the day. But as we progress throughout the school, you know, like, where, where's the joke of the day? You forgot? Hm. I love it. Oh, that's so good. So, as, as I'm thinking about like, you know, being a, a member of the orchestra, for example, or, or just like a per a person in your class, I'm thinking about, ok, so we have like this belonging that is built and, and it seems like it's ongoing, right?

It's the same joke as day, every day. Um, you know, and, and this pizza party like it happens often, right? And so we have this kind of belonging. I hear um your musical compositions, right? I have the space to make my own musical compositions, participate in, in, in playing with the team that I belong to. I'm wondering also from your own. I don't know if it's like, how much of your own or, or, you know, I don't know exactly how to phrase my question. I imagine in, as a musical composer yourself composing something has a process to it. Right. So there's like, I imagine like a spark and then there's like the, the literal steps that you go through to compose the, the music before it is final. And I'm wondering, does that inform how you coach others to like students to compose theirs or does it, um does that process that you have used personally kind of translate to how you coach students to even play the composition? I'm wondering just from a curricular lens, how that personal connection that you have with the content that that you're teaching um connects to your instructional decisions.

Does that question make sense? Yeah, I, well, I think they all inform one another and I've talked about this before where I think I'm a better conductor because I am a better because I compose and I'm a better composer because I teach, I'm better teacher because I conduct and it's just kind of circular and each one informs the other. Um So for example, if I'm writing something and this can be very hard for someone who's not in the classroom. And I think that's what kind of gives me an advantage. I understand the exact developmental um pedagogy for each ensemble at each stage. And I know for example, hey, if I'm writing a grade one piece, I can't throw, for example, like for the violins I can't throw a C# in there, high three G string that's not gonna work. They're not there yet. I gotta give it another year or so. And I understand that because I'm in the classroom and, and I'm intimately aware of what they're capable of doing at each developmental stage. So that all, they all kind of inform one another and make me a better musician, make me a better composer and make me a better conductor.

I'm more sensitive to those things. I, you know, if I see something like that, um let's say it's for the next level up, I understand that OK, this is something that's new to them. It's not something that they've been doing yet. So as a conductor now, I need to slow down and figure out ways that we can reinforce this uh and make sure that they're, they're grasping this concert because they haven't had this for that long. So, you know, it, it's all connected to me. Wow, I just love that so much even as like the, the musical metaphor for any content area that you're teaching, right? It's like the idea of there is this developmental progression. I need to know that I need to know where my students are in the developmental progression. And I need to make sure that as I kind of create my original compositions, whether that's musical compositions or like even thinking of the metaphor of musical compositions for like unit development, right? Or something like I am scaffolding it in that way that students are able to move forward and if they're not at the level that they need to be at that, they're not ready for that next step. I need to slow it down so that they are able to get it.

Like, wow, what a cool, what a cool metaphor for even like non musical educators and super Awesome. Thank you. Yeah, I imagine that you have faced many uh a challenge in the classroom space or even in the compositional space. I'm curious to know like, what is one of those challenges that you faced? And how did you deal with that? How did you overcome it? I'm thinking of particularly the listeners who are maybe in a similar position and trying to do big things like you are and just wondering what we, what you can teach them and, and kind of inspire them with is like challenge, but also here's how I worked through it. Hi, this is Leah from the podcast team. In this episode, Adrian Gordon is sharing their free resource, a composition mind map to help you develop your own music ideas. You can get it at Lindsay, Beth laws.com/blog/one 68. Now, back to the episode. Wow, that's a, that's a deep question. Well, no, it's OK. I mean for someone like me, um you know, you know, I'm a black man, so it's been hard, I think particularly in the instrumental world.

Um, and it's mainly classical music to find my footing. You know, I remember, uh, when I first started teaching, I never forget I had, I started teaching as just general music and I remember I had a parent who came up to me and I was like, what's, who's your favorite composer? And it wasn't in a way of interest in getting to know me. It was a almost like AAA litmus test, like uh you know, who, who are you bringing into the classroom to teach to my kid? And I just, you know, from that point, I've always felt like there's always gonna be that little bit of a barrier. Um So I have never felt fully accepted in this realm and, you know, just being instrumental music, classical music, string music, there's not that many um black players, black composers. Um Right now I'm, I'm about to present a session on diversity in the orchestra and underrepresented composers. And one of the things that I'm learning right now is how, how few um composers of color there are particularly at the beginning stages.

So you think about, for example, football, you have students who are so engrossed in football because they can see their reflection in those players. You know, it's something that they can connect with. You don't really have that in, particularly in my discipline with strings beginners really can't see themselves, young black students, young Latino students, they can't really see themselves in, in, in the composers that they're playing, they make that similar connection and sorry to bring it back to athletics again, but they can't see their reflection there and latch on the same way you would, you would envision a kid latching on in, you know, football or basketball or whatever. So I'm learning right now that there's just AAA real big need to have um more, more unrepresented composers, particularly the beginning stages. So these kids can latch on and you can really have a complete kind of tapestry of what the country looks like.

Um So that's been really difficult and, you know, off of just a, a unofficial count that I'm doing right now. I've found about, you know, when you think about graded music. So the way we play music and the way you see it in curriculum is at a beginner stage, you'll see it at a grade zero, which is something straight out of their method book and then they kind of move up to a grade half, then a grade one, maybe grade 1.5 grade two, grade three, grade, grade four. By the time they get to high school, they're hitting about a grade four, grade five. for the most part, not everybody, but that's what progressively happens. So at the grade zero, grade half and grade one and grade 1.5 from the little bit of research I've done, I found about maybe five composers in the country that are doing what I'm doing and um creating content, creating music for these beginning stages, which that's been really hard to hard pill to swallow and see that there's a, there's a big need uh for more music from unrepresented composers out there.

Um So that's, that's something that I'm hoping to see change and, and something that I'm passionate about. And I'm happy to be working with um the New Canon project where they are actually putting their money where their mouth is. And uh having people like me, other composers who are out there mentor younger composers of color and get those people. She is in the hands of students and, you know, I, I'm walking through the process with the, with my uh my mentee, I guess and uh helping her understand what's appropriate at this level, how to, how to phrase things in, you know, a cello section or in a base section. Why we can't do this, why we can't do that. So I'm happy to see those things happening. Um And I'm just hoping to see more of that in the next um couple of years, I would say incredible, thank you for sharing that. And I think there's, there's so many pieces in there that we can have like so like four separate podcast on it.

And I, I think one of the things that I'm hearing is like the structural change needs to happen, right? The systems of how we get folks in positions of like being composers and being um you know, I don't know all the musical terms but in positions where that, that work is used and valued. Um And then also being able to, to say, as the, as the educator, I can be individually like a composer that, that my students can look at and see a mirror for and I can in the classroom, as you said before, like really uh support and whether it's a formal mentorship role or it's like a kind of informal, this student just created their original composition that we now happen to be doing and performing, right? For everyone, there's like these multiple levels all the way from like classroom instructional practice to structural inequities that need to be righted, right? That, that there are so many opportunities for change and calls for change and even if you're listening and you're a person who's like, well, the structure needs to change. Like, but there are still things that you can do in the classroom level to make that a priority.

And like you're saying, you've done all of the, the research to figure out like how many, how many folks are in those spaces that are doing the agreed I think I wrote this down, right? 0.511 0.5. Right? Yeah. So like, so to be able to say like, well, then I'm, that's who I'm using, right? Like that, that's like I'm centering that and de centering the stuff that, that parent or whoever was asking about. Right. Like, no, like we get enough of that. Like, no, no, no. Like this is what is becoming central and not that we don't perform music. Some of the master works and, and, um, teach about, about those things because I do, I do owe a lot of my own training to those. But I think, um, you know, there's room for everything, there's, there's room on the table for everything and I just, I would hope to see more uh diversity in there. Um And again, I don't think that means that you completely throw out the baby with the bathwater. It's just including everything um, to make a complete tapestry if that makes sense. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Thank you for, for clarifying that and for, for sharing the, all of the stuff today. I think one of the things that I think is so interesting about podcast episodes in general and like our conversation today is there's, there's so much in the conversation and there's so many directions to take a, a nugget of something that you shared and the listener is like, I'm gonna go in this direction or this direction. I'm wondering if you had some advice to give to a listener right now as they stop the episode and they go try to like, implement something or take action on something that you shared. What would you say is the place to start. Like, what's the one thing that they could do next and see a big return on? Hm, I would say, you know, invest in yourself and you can do that pretty, I mean, not easily, but there's resources out there. I'd say professional development is a good place to start. I'm a big fan, big proponent of heading to um conferences. If you can, um, you know, state conferences, sometimes they have district or regional conferences where you can get a lot of professional development.

And also when you're there, you tend to network with people and just pick up things that other people are doing, learning about their practices in the classroom. Just the uh just the conversations that happen uh at random, they're so valuable and they are great, great tools to bring back to your own teaching. So I think if, you know, if you're really serious about improving yourself, see if you can go out and be a part of a professional development. Um and just start networking with people talking with more experienced educators. Um And see if you can find a mentor. You know, I, I, that was a big blessing for me when I first started, I would say the biggest influences that I had were not necessarily music teachers, they were classroom teachers. I, I mean, I was with a uh a group of kindergarten teachers who I tell you they were so spot on like I learned. So much from these ladies there, four of them and they were so good.

And I, I just remember every week I would soak in something new about classroom management, the way to interact with kids, the the standard that we hold them to the professionalism. So look around do observations in your own school if you know there's master teachers or in your county, um reach out to them. So, yeah, those are some of the things I would say to someone who's starting out um just really invest that time into yourself so that you can bring that back to your students. I love that. And so one of the, the next questions that I usually ask is, is fun, can relate to all the things we've been talking about can be something totally different. Like fishing is an example of someone, something said, someone said once. And so I think about uh you know, as educators and, and people in education, we're always passionate about learning, we're always learning stuff. So question typically is like, what have you been learning about lately? Feel free to answer that. But I also know you've been working on a lot of stuff. So you have your publishing company, you have your compositions, you have all sorts of your book. Like if there is something that you want to share that folks can learn from, that's another way to answer this question if you'd like.

Oh wow. So uh yeah, I've been Well, like I said, I've been learning a lot about, um, I guess the, the stats for composers underrepresented composers, which is just kind of, you know, I knew it was kind of bleak and I knew, but to see the number put a number of value to it, you're like, oh, man, so, you know, there's just a lot of work to be, to be done in that, in that regard. Um, so that's one of the things that I'm learning about right now. Um I guess I'm also, I'm stretching myself with composition, you know, I'm, I'm doing um this really cool project for a school out in, um Seattle and I'm doing something kinda different than I'm used to. I'm, I'm composing something for strings but it's strings and drum set. So, uh you know, it's uh not a typical combination that you would see a string orchestra and a drum set, but the sound works and I think the kids that I'm uh writing this for are really, really gonna enjoy it.

So I'm looking forward to putting it in front of them and seeing their faces hopefully light up when they get to play it. Hear it all come together. But then on, on the, yeah, on the other side, like, what am I doing? Maybe outside of music? Um, you know, I'm a big nerd, like I love, I love uh cooking shows. I'm learning a lot about cooking. I, I, you know, I could watch, like, uh, Gordon Ramsay. I could, I could watch, like, top chef, like all those shows. I could watch all that stuff, you know, and just soak it all in. I'm a big foodie so I love good food and I love trying to cook when I have time. Um, so I'm learning a lot about that. Like, I, the other day I just experimented with how to cook, like a really nice piece of salmon, how you go about doing that. And I was watching and, um, you know, that's just something kind of nerdy about me that I love to do and it's outside of music. So I love it. Oh my gosh. I love the things that are both related to the topic and then also not so good.

It just pains. I think it paints all of us as like full human beings, right? Like we have, we're multifaceted. Yeah, that's so good. Also, if you have like a audio recording at some point, once those students play that composition you're working on with the strings and the drums, we can link it to the blog post for this episode because I would love to hear that. Yeah. Well, uh I'm supposed to hand it to them and put it in their hands on. Well, probably like April 1st or so, April 2nd. So we're on there and they need to work, they need time to work on it and then we're gonna do the premiere. I'm flying out there to uh be with them for a couple days in June for the premiere. So once I get that I can shoot it your way. Absolutely amazing episode is probably going to air in June. So that'll be perfect. Yeah. Awesome. So good. All right. So finally, where are people going to find stuff like this? Connect with you, learn from, you continue to like, you know, get all the stuff, read your book. Where online are you and how do people get in touch?

Well, you can find me online on my website which is Adrian Gordon Music, music.com. So all my stuff there, my schedule, my calendar, which is crazy right now. I'm kind of traveling all over the place and um my book which is also up there and it's also available on Amazon. It's called Note to Self uh music Director's Guide for transitioning to a new school and building a thriving music program. So that's it. Oh my gosh. I love it. Do you want to give us like a preview of like, what is the most exciting part of your book so that people could just get like a tiny taste of what's in there? Yes, I will. That's a big question to you. So feel free to be like, no Lindsay, I will not. So in the book, I talk about um kind of building those boundaries and what you should prioritize and part of that is your personal health, you know, your mental health, your emotional health, but your family time is a part of that too. So, you know, I'm about to present and I'm gonna be reading this little excerpt from my book and it, it goes like this because you have a unique role in your family that can only be filled by you.

Whether it's your smile, your jokes, your stories, your affection, your singing, your dancing, you're laughing, you're playing your attention, your hugs, your encouragement or whatever it is that makes you special to your family. But your family members get the best parts of you, no matter what your family looks like. Remember that you need your family and your family needs you. That's so good. Thank you for sharing that. What an important reminder. Yeah. Yeah. It's really important, especially as new teachers and transitioning teachers. We gotta remember. Our family comes first and busy teachers like yourself. Yeah, busy teachers too. Yeah, family comes first. Absolutely amazing. What a wonderful way to add Adrian. Thank you so so much for your time today. This has been a pleasure. Yeah. Thank you. It's been a real, real pleasure to be with you and, and chat about all things music related. If you like this episode. I bet you'll be just as jazz as I am about my coaching program for increasing student led discussions in your school, Shane, Sapir and Jamila Dugan. Talk about a pedagogy of student voice in their book Street Data. They say students should be talking for 75% of class time.

Do students in your school talk for 75% of each class period? I would love for you to walk into any classroom in your community and see this in action. If you're smiling to yourself as you listen right now, grab 20 minutes on my calendar to brainstorm. How I can help you make this big dream a reality. I'll help you build a comprehensive plan from full day trainings and discussion protocols like circle and Socratic seminar to follow up classroom visits where I can plan witness and debrief discussion based lessons with your teachers. Sign up for a nerdy no strings attached to brainstorm. Call at Lindsay, Beth lions.com/contact. Until next time leaders think big act brave and be your best self. This podcast is a proud member of the Teach Better Podcast network, better today, better tomorrow and the podcast to get you there, explore more podcasts at teach better.com/podcasts and we'll see you at the next episode.

168. Building Community and Compositions with Adrian Gordon
168. Building Community and Compositions with Adrian Gordon
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