Ryan Patrick Burnett
B.A., Northeastern Illinois University, 2009
MMEd, VanderCook College of Music, 2015 (expected)
I have been a musician for almost my entire life, and have always treasured music as a part of my life. I have a Bachelors degree in music performance from Northeastern Illinois University, and am finishing a Masters degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music. I find I often approach musical problems as if I needed to teach someone else how to solve them. Even in my own practice, and in talking with other musical colleagues, I often think about the educational method that might be necessary to accomplish a given goal. I believe this gives me a unique insight into teaching that most first year teachers might not have.
I have had extensive experience as a performer as well. I have played many 20th and 21st century works during my bachelor's degree that were previously unheard at my college; I have belonged to and arranged for The Classical Outdoorsmen, an ensemble dedicated to bringing classical music to the general public; and I currently play in a rock/jazz group called the Freedonian Municipal Band, a group that regularly plays throughout Chicago. I am also an active composer, and have had a number of works premiered in Chicago.
VanderCook College of Music is the only degree-granting institution in the United States solely dedicated to music teacher education. The mission of the college is to enrich the lives of present and future generations through the preparation of teachers in instrumental, choral, and general music disciplines. Its broad-based curriculum is designed to prepare teachers with strong character, skill in the process of teaching, and respect for the essential role of music in our culture.
My overall philosophy of music education is about showing students the relevance of what they are learning. Most people, from young children to adults, enjoy music. My goal is to have students understand that by learning more about music, they can enjoy it even further. That is, I would point to a greater enjoyment of the music they make, listen to, and perhaps even write, as an impetus for further learning.