Date: Saturday, October 14, 2023  Time: 9am-11am
Old Dominion University- Diehn School of Music

Música es Vida! Music and dance play an active role in the Dominican Republic, from education to social gatherings to celebrations. Teachers have the responsibility to help bridge cultural gaps between students and their educational experiences, embedding social-emotional learning and culturally responsive-sustaining music teaching and learning. This session will provide music teachers with brief, engaging activities they can integrate into their music classroom that is meaningful, responsive, and respectful. Bring your WEPA and get caught up in the rhythms, melodies, and flavors of the rich and diverse island of the Dominican Republic.  


Clinician Bio:

Juan Carlos Tavarez is in his tenth year as a music educator. He currently teaches elemental music for grades K-5 at Walnut Street School in the Uniondale School District in Uniondale, NY. Dr. Tavarez leads the fourth and fifth-grade chorus and is the director of the All-District Elementary Chorus. In addition, he has been serving as the Male Rites of Passage mentor, facilitating conversations and activities to develop character education in young males. Before joining the Uniondale faculty, Dr. Tavarez taught as the founding music teacher and school culture coordinator for the NYC Public Schools. He received his BM in Music Education from Five Towns College and his MM in Music Education from New York University with a certification in Kodály. He completed his Orff-Schulwerk training at George Mason University in 2018. After a few years of practicing music teaching and learning, Dr. Tavarez pursued his doctoral degree from Long Island University in transformational leadership in 2023. His research explored how music and music education develop agency, identity, and personhood in Black and Latinx males in the elementary choral and general music classroom. How can music guide us to better understand human action and experience? His approach demonstrates community, character, choice, confidence, and curiosity as educational values for musicing that allow for meaningful experiences, social connections and empathy, and positive multifaceted relationships. His charge as a music educator is to bring all his students into a life-long love for music with practical skills and true musicianship in his teaching and learning.

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