FAME Teacher Spotlight – Nobel S. Gabasan
Please meet our newest (and our first international) Teacher Spotlight, Nobel S. Gabasan, FAME member since 2013. Nobel teaches infants through Year 6 at International College in Hong Kong (Hong Lok Yuen.) In his career, Nobel has taught General Music, Choir, Orchestra, Voice and Instrumental Lessons as well as Parent/Child Classes.
In your opinion, what is the most powerful aspect of FS/CS?:
It is very organized and systematic, sequenced and simple and yet it is such a POWERFUL and COMPREHENSIVE way to deliver the most essential elements needed for music literacy.
How has FS/CS changed your teaching?
It has changed my teaching tremendously, right after my first encounter with Kodaly Level 1. It made me more confident when I completed the whole Kodaly course in 3 summers. The resources are very good and always available. One of the good reasons in using FS/CS is everything is already given to you; textbooks and even workbooks, supplemented by Move it DVDs. And I have them all. It strongly influenced me, in that I also started creating my own Move it activities based on Classical music. It is also one fun way of getting the children listening and experiencing classical music in the classroom. It also inspired me to be more creative, modifying all my classroom activities based on FS/CS platform with whatever resources available. Personally, I am very happy and satisfied with my professional growth, and most importantly, I am able to share that enjoyment to my students.
How has FS/CS changed your students?
The students experienced additional enjoyment in doing the activities. My classroom has never been the same. I have a wide range of activities and the children are really engaged. And at the same time, the learning process became more effective. Everything becomes so handy. The children’s knowledge and skills have leveled up tremendously and their excitement sustains their interest. As a whole, the happiness that they get in every lesson is what makes them more interested in looking forward to the next. It is just unbelievable and I am so impressed on my students’ musical achievement.
Nobel is a well-rounded musician: performer, choral conductor, composer, musical director and music educator. Nobel earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Conservatory of Music in the Philippines. To further his career as a musician, he left the Philippines in 1989 to perform in different key Asian cities. In 1995, he landed a teaching job in Hong Kong and is presently the Music Specialist Teacher of International College Hong Kong (Hong Lok Yuen) in Hong Kong.
Nobel acquired his post-graduate studies in the US, obtaining his Kodaly Certificate at the University of Hartford in Connecticut and he also holds training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He finished his Master of Arts in Music at the Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong. Nobel studied under John Feierabend, Lisa Parker and Anne Farber and attended choral conducting masterclasses under Ed Bolkovac and Law Po Kwan.
Nobel is also involved in musical theatre companies in HK, and directed musicals in HK and Macau such as, “Othello-the rock musical,” “Leaving,” “Once on this Island,” “Broadway Express,” “Around the World in 80 Days,” and “Peter Pan.” The production of “Peter Pan” has also been premiered at Esplanade in Singapore and at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila.
Nobel is a sought-after choral director. He conducted numerous choral groups: church, school, university and company choirs. He conducted the UST Action Singers, the official university-wide choral group of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila when he was still studying in the university. Up to this day, he is still very much active, founding another choral group, the Thomasian Chamber Choir based in Manila, Philippines.
As a music educator, Nobel has presented workshops in the Philippines and China, spreading the good news of Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Dr. Feierabend’s philosophies.