Teaching music and performance allows Ms. Phelan to work with vibrant young people all day. She is inspired by their creativity and energy, and loves providing a place where kids can shine. Her favorite part of the day is seeing them take risks and show courage!
Impacting Students Part of learning music is music theory, the notes and rests on a page. One of my favourite lessons is in music dictation: I play a rhythm on the piano and students "write down" the notes they have heard using pre-made cards. We talk a lot about the mechanics of music but in this lesson they really get to see it. By putting together the combination of notes and rests they are not only translating what they hear to something they can see, but they are also starting to really understand the way that music fits together. They work in pairs or alone and each has a bag of notes and rests. This activity gets them out of their chairs and puts manipulatives in their hands.
Lifelong Learner My most impactful professional development was at the CMEA conference. I was able to learn a lot about movement, conducting and music techniques that I then brought directly back into my classroom. I used what I learned right away, I love that! I have taught music for 16 years and each day there are things that go well and things that I can do better. I am so thankful to be in a place that fosters the learning process so I can stretch out and feel comfortable trying new things.
Favorite Teaching Moment After an eighth grade musical performance last year, one performer came running up to me and yelled, "This is so much fun! I can't believe we did this!" After our final performance we could hear them all in the band room screaming and cheering for each other. I am most passionate about seeing kids step up and do the hard thing, then being so proud of themselves. I love that I get to be a part of that.
Favorite Music or Musician Debussy’s Clair de Lune transports me and I cannot help but get lost in the music -- it's so expressive. And John Williams for creating characters in his music. Star Wars, Harry Potter ...
Life Goal Visit Fiji and the states with storied musical history like New Orleans, Nashville, Seattle, Chicago, New York.
Joined Graland in... 2017
Other than Graland, I Support The Sarah Burke Foundation and the Children's Hospital Burn Camps Program
Hometown Midland, Ontario, Canada
Education Honors Bachelor of Music in Education, University of Windsor
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.