Arborland Youth Activity Center
Watching children grow is like observing white papers being painted. We provide the pigments and brushes, and the children choose their favorite colors and start drawing until some pictures are formed. The creativity and quality of the picture depends on the children’s previous knowledge and learning experiences. Each child is unique, special and with endless possibilities. It is through the proper teaching, practice, and education that determine how much they improve and more importantly the quality of development. I sincerely believe not only in these principles, but also that music and the arts are effective means to fostering creativity and maturity, and thus have focused my higher studies to teaching and performing music.
I began my higher education by concentrating on pedagogy for music education during my undergraduate studies at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taiwan. After teaching music at the Affiliated Senior High School of the National Taiwan Normal University, I decided to broaden my experiences and came to the United States to pursue my Master’s degrees at John Hopkins’ Peabody Conservatory of Music in 2001 and later received my doctoral degree in musical arts from University of Maryland at College Park in 2009.
For the past six years, I have been teaching both the flute and the piano to students of various grade levels – from kindergarten to college – in suburban Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Good results from the students always help to reinforce that the teaching method being used is working well. Delighted to see my students being selected in the Maryland All State Junior Orchestra, Maryland All State Junior Band, Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra, and Potomac Valley Flute Choir, I am confident that my teaching methodologies are successful.
Music is a language for everyone and for all nationalities. People of different cultures can communicate through music without speaking. Music is also a very effective tool to communicate with the children. Many times parents asked me, “Could my children play the flute?” The answer is a definite “YES,” as long as the child has some interest for music. The musical instrument is simply a medium to express the child’s feelings. Through proper lessons and practice, the child will learn the skills to better control the instrument, which in turns helps the child to better convey his emotions.
I am honored to be the flute teacher and coordinator of the music programs at the Arborland Academy of the Arts. To fulfill the vision for the Arts department, I will need the support and help of all the faculty members and parents. For this year, recruiting string, winds, brass teachers and students will be the first priority for the music division. With the teachers and students in place, we can establish a wind ensemble, string orchestra, and hold concerts at our facility. We welcome and encourage the parents to join us as mature learners.
I look forward to bringing my experience, knowledge, and passion for music to the school and meeting all of you very soon!
By Dr. Sophie Chia-Jui Lee