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Sample Worksheets

Augmented Sixth Chord Worksheet

Seventh Chord Spelling and Notation Guide

Counterpoint Error Detection


Excerpts from Teaching Evaluations

Rowan University

  1. This instructor is an example of what you would want in a teacher. The class was engaging and fun, even if you're not familiar or well versed in the material being taught. The instructor was fun and used relevant teaching methods to connect with the students. The course will be worth your time. 

  2. Dr. Clarke has organized her Music Appreciation class into four separate sections including The Elements of Music, Music and Gender, Music and Politics, Music in Theater and Film. Breaking down the syllabus into these sections made it a lot easier to learn about and gave more opportunity to analyze certain topics and have more of a discussion about it, rather than just a lecture style type of class. Dr. Clarke was always extremely organized, and prepared. She was also very helpful with any questions that people had, and she showed that she does have extensive knowledge about these topics which made the class much easier to understand and learn from. Overall, the class gave thought provoking assignments that left room for interpretation to each person. Whether you are a music industry major or not this class doesn't require any previous knowledge regarding music, and was ultimately an enjoyable experience. 

University of Delaware

  1. “Dr. Clarke has been by far my favorite professor throughout the harmony sequence. Her enthusiasm and ability to elicit the classes best efforts really made this course enjoyable and interesting! DR. CLARKE ROCKS!!!!!”
  2. “I think that Dr. Clarke is a wonderful professor. She is always energetic and enthusiastic about the subject material which I believe truly helps us keep in good spirits while trying to understand this challenging subject. I also appreciate how encouraging and understanding she is towards us as students. She clearly wants to do everything in her power to help us succeed, which is frankly not something many students usually feel in our harmony classes, which is so helpful. I would love to take another class with Dr. Clarke.” 

Temple University

  1. “She is very approachable and is always able to make time to help us understand and review concepts that are particularly hard to grasp ... I loved that she explained things multiple times in ways easy for us to understand and I felt very comfortable asking questions in class and asking for help outside of class.”
  2. “Sabrina creates such a warm, friendly, open environment which is so important to Theory because it can be really scary!!”
  3. “Her knowledge of theory was incredible. She is the best at what she does.”

 

 

Teaching Philosophy

I am eternally grateful to my wonderful music teachers, people who valued individuality and personal expression over uniformity. Following their example, I am committed to helping my students achieve more than just passing grades and a graduation requirement. I strive to create a welcoming, diverse, collaborative learning environment.

What is most concerning to me as a music educator is the discursive divide between the academic curriculum and the “real music” that may be at the core of the student’s musical identity. I believe this distance is perpetuated by the hegemony of canonic masterworks and the impression of select ‘genius’ composers. By no means does my approach ignore the contributions of common-practice composers, nor do I suggest adding “token” examples of music by women or minorities. But I believe that students find the academic side of music more engaging if they feel as if their opinions, experiences, aspirations, and musical influences are valued. Creating an inclusive music theory or music history classroom does not mean excluding Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven. It simply means presenting students with an honest assessment of why canonic works are important, why other works are left out, and ways of addressing the disparity that results. This helps to create consistent emphasis on traditionally marginalized composers and groups, while demonstrating the paradigms of Western art music. I find that initiating a dialogue on why we talk about the music we do, is itself a remarkable way to spark student engagement.

By the same token, I believe open dialogue both inside and outside the classroom is vital to a successful educational environment. I encourage student feedback in one-on-one meetings and (anonymous) online surveys. I always strive to improve, and enjoy discussing aspects of pedagogy with colleagues. This dialogue is, to me, indispensable. A strong learning community of both students and faculty is vital to student success.

My strategies for increasing diversity in the classroom are informed by my experience as a professor, the perspectives I gained through my completion of Temple University’s Teaching in Higher Education certificate program, and my collaborative examination of pedagogical approaches based on research and open dialogue with both students and colleagues. The certificate program—with its emphasis on topics like theories of cognition, pedagogical approaches, universal design, and applications of classroom—empowered me to cultivate an approach that is rooted in inclusivity.

I further strengthen this inclusive environment by involving and engaging multiple approaches and perspectives. Enriching collaborative discussions encourage students to think critically, and to apply abstract concepts to the music they personally enjoy. I extend this spirit of collaboration to different aspects of the class, using games, visual demonstrations, peer teaching opportunities, student-designed projects, and customizable assessments. Offering a variety of nontraditional project options instead of a single essay or test—whether a student-designed worksheet and answer key, a short movie, or a detailed musical map—not only encourages creativity and engagement, but often helps serve a practical purpose. For instance, detailed handouts or worksheets may be added to a  teaching portfolio, compositions may be performed at upcoming new music concerts, or a blog post can help music therapy students to plan for future guided listening exercises. Student engagement is much higher when they are encouraged to trace connections between course content and their own career goals.

I strive to present concepts in a way that interests students and is relevant to their lives. My goal is for students to feel empowered and informed by their music education, rather than feeling limited, marginalized, or intimidated. At the core of my methodology is the idea that diversity—whether a diversity of ideas, or one of ethnicity, race, ability, or identity—has value, potential, and power.