FAME Teacher Spotlight – Kim Yannon
School System: Cheshire Public Schools
Grade Taught: 1-6 General Music, 7-8 Choral Music
Education: Bachelors in Music Performance, Western Connecticut State University; Masters of Science in Music Education, Central Connecticut State University; Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education/Pedagogy, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
FAME member since: 2012 (Founding Member, 2014 FAME Biennial Conference Chair)
Classes/Workshops in First Steps or Conversational Solfege:
I studied CS as part of my coursework at Hart and at the Summer Kodaly classes at Hart
How has FS/CS changed your teaching?
FS/CS has given me confidence to structure my teaching in a way that speaks to development of children rather than the development of a curriculum. I use the wealth of American folk and other literature to authentically present the history and culture of America and beyond in a way that not only allows me to address Standard 9, but to bring joy, laughter, and thoughtful music-making to my classroom.
How has FS/CS changed your students?
Plainly stated, my students are better musicians. They hear/feel/understand/intuit music in a way that they have not before because we have, even in our scattered and inconsistent contact time, been able to teach them to think in sound. They are confident readers – and this confidence extends to the singers and musicians at the middle school. My chorus students learn literature faster because they have built a context into which to put new learning. This context allows them to decode patterns, predict tonality, and understand phrasing without me having to lead them to an understanding of the music. They are also more sensitive singers with instant access to beautiful tone.
Kim’s teaching career has spanned 30 years of elementary and middle general and choral music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance from Western Connecticut State University, a Master of Science degree in Music Education from Central Connecticut State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education and Pedagogy from The Hart School.
Kim served as Elementary General Music/Conference Chair, In-Service Conference Chair, and President for Connecticut Music Educators Association. Kim’s work with CMEA includes government relations and she was involved in the lobbying efforts dealing with Connecticut’s new certification and high school reform legislation. She is a founding board member for the Feierabend Association for Music Education, and the Connecticut Alliance for Arts Education.
She has presented numerous workshops in curriculum and child development, assessment, and best practices for NAfME and CMEA. In addition to contributing frequently to CMEA News, Kim has lectured on leadership and advocacy and has taught classes to veterans and beginning pre-service teachers at Central Connecticut State University and The University of Connecticut. Her focus at this time is developing a pedagogy for teaching composition in the general music classroom as well as empowering teachers to teach the creative process and evaluate creative product.
Kim served on the NCCAS Core Arts Standards writing team in the area of general music, grades 6-8.