Musical Improvisation Delivers Valuable Life Lessons, by Karen Bruno

Karen BrunoImprovisation is an important part of any creative endeavor.

I recently spoke with Matt Turner, cellist, pianist, composer and teacher of improvisation at Lawrence University, about the benefits of improvisation in music. In addition to creative and technical benefits, his students notice that improvisation helps them think about who they want to be as human beings and what they can contribute to the world.


Karen Bruno, For Post-Crescent Media 11:17 p.m. CDT June 20, 2015


Hilary Haskell '12 Recognized with State Teaching Award

Hilary HaskellLawrence University graduate Hilary Haskell, an English Language Learner (ELL) teacher at Appleton North High School, was honored April 12 in Madison with an award from the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE).

Haskell received WACTE’s Early Career Educator Award during ceremonies at the Concourse Hotel.

The award honors an outstanding educator within the first three years of his/her professional career. It recognized teachers for having a positive impact on their schools or communities, their innovation in designing learning experiences and their advocacy for students.  Haskell was one of 42 teachers state-wide honored by WACTE.


Composition 101: Sound Experimentation and Invented Notation, by Matt Turner

People are often surprised to learn that I do no use traditional music elements such as melody, chords, key signatures, meter, form or the staff when introducing composition.  Whether I am working with college-aged students who are fluent in theory or elementary-aged students who are non-readers, my approach is similar--I focus on sound and invented notation and avoid traditional theory so that student composers may experiment with organizing sound without getting tangled in the "rules" often associated with tradition.  The concepts that follow are designed to do just that and can be applied when composing pieces akin to traditional repertoire as well.


"Wisconsin School Musician", Vol. 85, No. 1.  Posted with permission of the Wisconsin School Music Association.

Connecting Through Vulnerability, by Matthew Arau

One of the most important qualities of an exceptional music teacher, other than musicianship, is the ability to make connections.  Think about it.  We need to be connected to the art form of music--not sort of connected but really connected.  We have to believe in and be passionately connected to the literature that we program with our students...


"Touchpoint: The Division of Education Newsletter". Vol. 2, Issue 4.  Article written by Dr. Matthew Arau in August of 2014 for the Conn-Selmer Institute.

Helping Students Reach The Mountaintop, by Matthew Arau

I believe one of the reasons we become teachers is so that we can help our students reach their full potential. As we gain
experience and develop as educators, we learn new methods and strategies to help our students gain success. However, we
all have felt disappointment when a student gives up before reaching the top of the mountain.


"Touchpoint: The Division of Education Newsletter". Issue 2, Vol. 23. Dec. 16th, 2014.

Improvisation and Composition in Every Classroom, by Matt Turner

As I journey around Wisconsin and have the good fortune of working with students and music educators, I am excited to report a new trend: numerous teachers are introducing composition and improvisation to their students more than ever before.  In particular, I am observing many orchestra, general music and choir teachers embracing both of these disciplines in public schools and at the college level.


"Wisconsin School Musician", Vol. 84, No. 3.  Posted with permission of Wisconsin School Music Association.