Headed to Paradise

As I mentioned this weekend, I am preparing to head to the Cayman Islands tomorrow to take part in teaching a free week-long music workshop to the students on the island. With my fellow teachers and teacher educators in the Creative Music Project, we will be working for a week with the local students on expressing creativity through music in the contexts of improvisation, composition, technology, and the exploration of cultural connections. I will be teaching in the technology room for the upper age students (what we call middle and high school). I am very excited to be using Aviary’s Myna to create remixes of some of the music from the soundtrack of the newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie!

Anyway, I will be updating here on the progress of my trips as often as I can, and hope to include some videos, pictures, and stories along the way! If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my feed (by clicking the link in the sidebar) so you can stay updated during my trip. You can also follow my updates on Twitter at @Zweibz7 and updates from the Creative Music Project at @CreativeMusProj.

I’ll talk to you soon – from paradise!!

It’s Quiet…

Too quiet!

Indeed, since I’ve gotten back from a short vacation after graduation, it has been very quiet here in South Florida. Having said goodbye to almost all of my close friends and finished my internship/school, things have slowed down a lot for me. Believe it or not, I’m BORED!

A few of the things I have been doing to keep myself occupied:

  • Applying to jobs. LOTS of them.
  • Working on my lesson plans for the Creative Music Project
  • Applying to more jobs.
  • Steamrolling through my Netflix queue (I’m currently watching all seven seasons of “The West Wing”)
  • Going to an occasional interview
  • Working out
  • Sleeping. A lot.

I know that once I have a job lined up things will get a lot busier very quickly. Until then, I’m trying to keep busy so I don’t dwell on how quiet it is here. Any other suggestions of ways to stay occupied are welcome!

Sample Gallery

Here’s a sample “Gallery” with some pictures of me!

What The Future Holds

Hey all! I know it’s been a while since I updated here, but just wanted to give a quick update on what I’m up to and on my future.

First, I’m excited to say I have officially finished my degree and graduated from the University of Miami! The past six months have been a complete whirlwind, between student teaching, graduation, job applications, and saying a lot of difficult goodbyes to my friends. They have, however, been some of the best months of my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

As I mentioned, I’m applying for jobs at the moment. I hope to have good news to report very soon (cross your fingers for me!), but for the time being I am trying to not divulge too much publicly about the positions I am being considered for. If you want more info about my job search, get in touch with me and I will let you know in a private conversation.

In addition to the job search, I am excited to be participating in two very exciting events this summer. First, I will be traveling to the Cayman Islands next week with the Creative Music Project to teach a week-long free music workshop to the students on the island. I’ll hopefully be able to provide some frequent updates during this trip, so if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to this blog to stay updated. Also, in late July I will be attending the University of Minnesota’s “Art of Wind Band Teaching” Symposium on a new teacher fellowship. I am extremely excited to learn from some of the best in the world!

If you follow me on Twitter (@Zweibz7), you likely know that I recently handed off the Editor-in-Chief position at MusicEdMajor.net to Andy Ritenour. I founded MusicEdMajor.net over two years ago and loved every minute of running it, but as I explained in my post announcing the move, it needs to be run by current Music Ed Majors. I have no doubt Andy will lead the website even better than I was able to in the next year.

What all this means…

This means I’m back to blogging right here! I have refreshed the look of my website (including adding a digital Portfolio), and re-purposed the blog to act a lot more like a “Tumblog.” What’s a tumblog?

A tumblelog is a quick and dirty stream of consciousness, a bit like a remaindered links style linklog but with more than just links. – Wikipedia Article

In other words, expect to see more frequent but shorter posts here in the future. I hope to share random thoughts I have (called “Asides”), photos from places I go (in “Galleries”), and other media (videos, quotes, audio recordings, etc.). Some of it will be about Music Education, some of it will be random musings about my personal life.

Don’t forget, you can stay updated with what I’m posting here by subscribing to the feed for this blog.

Until next time!

Rethinking “Home”

My, how things come full circle sometimes.

Back in August of 2008, as I prepared for my second year here at UM, I wrote a post explaining how Miami had become my home… how this was now the place where my “domestic affections were centered.” Back then, I could not wait to leave my hometown of Northbrook, Illinois and come back to Miami. Don’t get me wrong – I never really minded being in the suburbs of Chicago, but I certainly didn’t look forward to leaving UM for Northbrook. Now, here I sit, on the eve of my last day of undergraduate classes before student teaching, just over 6 months from completion of my undergraduate degree, and I feel the exact opposite. I can’t wait to go back to Northbrook, my real home.

How long have I felt this way? It’s hard to say, but I would estimate that it’s been a few months, but it has been more obvious in the past few weeks. Why the change of heart? That’s even harder to say. It’s been a roller coaster of a semester for me, physically, academically, emotionally, and mentally, so I may just be burned out on this stage of life. This is also the longest single period of time that I have been away from Northbrook; I was last back for three days over Memorial Day weekend in May, and before that was very early January of this year. Additionally, I think the Miami mindset is finally getting to me. My patience has worn thin with people who don’t take others’ thoughts into consideration whatsoever, and who make idle commitments that they don’t follow though with. This, along with many other probably subconscious thoughts, has caused me to truly miss Northbrook for the first time in the four years I’ve been here.

I was never the homesick type. I adjusted to life away from Northbrook very easily back in ’07; probably a lot more easily than my folks would have liked! Maybe it’s because Miami was new and exciting. Maybe it’s because I wanted to get away, no matter where I was. But now, as I look back on my four years here (not a moment of which I regret, by the way, despite the tone of this post), I realize for the first time what being homesick is like. It’s missing the little things… being greeted by our yellow lab Angel each time you walk in the house, even though you know it will result in all your clothes being absolutely covered in dog hair… being pestered by your mother about finding a job, even though you secretly appreciate the kick in the behind and know she is doing it because she cares… getting to catch up with a sister who has been away at her first few years of college and you only get to see a few times a year… hanging out with the boys at Buffalo Wild Wings (affectionately called “B Dubs”), watching some UFC fight we don’t really care about because we’re only there for the wings and the friends (and don’t forget the potato wedges!). That’s home to me.

Mom, Dad, Jess, Angel, Jay, Aaron, Zurad… I miss you all and can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.