Music at One, and an educator’s passion for music

David Spindler / Sun Star Reporter

January 22, 2015

Music Education student and violinist Annalisa Taylor, 20, is in her sophomore year at UAF and performed last Thursday as part of the program “Music at One,” which is a requirement for music majors to participate in at least once every semester.

“I guess you would expect yourself to progress the farther you go at performing. I’ve performed a lot in high school because I was part of music studio,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s passion for music started at the age of seven when her parents bought her a toy violin from Cracker Barrel that played different songs.

She grew up in Washington, near Seattle and was home schooled during high school, moving Fairbanks about five years ago. Taylor began music lessons from a music teacher Dr. Gail Johansen and around this time, they both talked about early childhood education and teaching music to young kids. Because of the advice she heard from Johansen and the vision she had set for herself, Taylor is hoping to start a music pre-school here in Fairbanks.

“I like working with kids, so I want to by any means work with kids by teaching them music because I feel it’s important to teach them some form of music even if they don’t find a passion for it later on. I say if you want to teach music, you have to be good at playing it,” Taylor said.

For “Music at One,” music students get graded on the number of hours they practice everyday.

“I usually practice two hours a day, sometimes three,” Taylor said.

At the end of the year, a music jury consisting of the heads of the music department, judge students musical performance at the Davis Concert Hall. The music jury depends on who is performing and with what instruments; for example, strings have a different set of judges than brass.

Taylor’s passion for music had changed slightly because of the recent change in professors here at UAF’s music department. Kathy Butler-Hopkins, the previous violin teacher retired and Dr. Bryan Emmon Hall became the new violin/viola instructor. He helped Taylor work more on her sound quality and producing to help better with her performance.

“I think Hall brings in a new, fresh approach to teaching,” Taylor said. The curriculum of music majors includes, music theory, ear training and music history. The students also learn to play and teach instruments other than their main one.

Those who are music majors want a chance to perform, so for “Music at One” each music student has to fill out a form stating which Thursday they would like to play their music piece.

“Usually there can be up to six to seven performers who want to perform and that’s mainly cause a lot of them want a chance to practice before they have to perform before the music jury,” Taylor said.

What Taylor is hoping to get out of this experience is a good performance.

“Nothing satisfies me more than to hear an applause from the audience after my music piece is done.”




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