A Haven for Musical Learning and Excellence: The New School for Music Study

We would like to thank Adam Salas for this insightful article on The New School for Music Study’s Postgraduate Teaching Program. Want to learn more about the Postgraduate Teaching Program? Learn more and apply by clicking here.

The New School for Music Study.

The New School for Music Study stands as a haven for musical learning and excellence, leaving a mark on those fortunate enough to be a part of it. My time there was an enriching experience that continues to shape my professional and personal life in many ways.

As the 2020-2021 “pandemic” fellow, I had the unique and enriching experience of being a part of a mostly online New School. My duties as a fellow included applied teaching, lesson planning, co-teaching, observations, meetings, and online teacher education courses. In addition to academics, I was required to attend all staff meetings, recitals, and special events including teacher enrichment programs.

In spite of moving to a virtual setting, a silver lining emerged in the form of recording each lesson for observation and review. This approach provided a valuable tool for improvement in my teaching, challenging me to explore new methodology and incorporate new activities during lessons. 

The recording of my teaching sessions proved to be an invaluable resource. Under the guidance of Educational Director, Amy Glennon, I not only refined my teaching process but also developed a framework for ongoing self-reflection. Glennon’s specific feedback highlighted special moments in my teaching but also areas in need of improvement. Each of her suggestions seamlessly integrated into future lessons, yielding immediate results. Her unique understanding of the student-teacher relationship and repertoire inspired a thoughtful approach to the learning process, influencing the dialogue and methods I use in lessons to this day. 

Adam Salas

An important aspect of the New School is that teachers freely share ideas and advice in between lessons seeking to resolve issues with their students. Comradery was essential to my overall experience and is what contributed to an environment supportive of continued growth. There were many instances where specific questions about teaching were met with ideas from teachers who frequently cited each other, as well as figures like Marvin Blickenstaff, Frances Clark, and Louise Goss. 

Fond memories of Marvin Blickenstaff’s PEPS classes are etched into my mind. Each session granted a renewed perspective on piano repertoire fostering a deeper appreciation for the subtle nuances that breathe life into music. To this day, whether in webinars or live conferences, I eagerly look forward to his teaching demonstrations and masterclasses. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the New School from co-teaching Time to Begin classes with Trevor Thornton to listening to virtuoso Kairy Koshoeva, practicing down the hall. The NSMS Postgraduate Teaching Program allowed me to make lifelong friendships and share the gift of music, but most importantly, bring my newfound knowledge and enthusiasm back with me to my students and colleagues in Texas.

Learn more about teaching and professional development opportunities at The New School for Music Study by clicking here.

Dedicated to helping students experience the art of music and its transformative powers, Adam Salas maintains a multifaceted piano studio in the Dallas-Fort Worth area while serving on the faculty of Southern Methodist University’s CAPE program. A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Adam is recipient of the 2022 MarySue Harris Teaching Fellowship Award by the Music Teachers National Association. Salas is President of the Dallas Music Teachers Association and serves as chair for the Texas MTNA Composition Competition. He also assists with administrative support for the Frances Clark Center.

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