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Provost's Imagine Fund for Arts and Humanities

Performing Arts Training Re-Imagined: Teaching with Acoustical Guidance

Traditional training in the performing arts is entrenched in intimidation, fear, judgment, and comparison. I believe that it is time to change tradition.

As a professor who is responsible for training performing artists of the future, I have searched for pedagogical strategies that would make me more effective as a teacher of physical skills. In my search, I discovered the practice of TAG Teaching, or Teaching With Acoustical Guidance. This practice, based on the principles of Operant Conditioning, established by B.F. Skinner, focuses on approximated achievable skills, positive reinforcement, and gradual growth. TAG Teach is quickly establishing itself around the world as a major force in teaching in fields from autism to surgery.

Currently, I am the only Level 2 TAG Certified College Professor in the nation. Theresa McKeon, founder of TAG Teach International, has invited me to present my current work at the first TAG Teach International Conference, to be held in Verona, Italy, in September 2015. The interdisciplinary nature of this event is of high value to me, as it will further inspire personal creativity in teaching methods.

The week following the International Conference in Verona, a TAG seminar will be held in Sornetan, Switzerland. This is an opportunity to put into practice the ideas that will be shared at the International Conference.

I believe that teaching itself should be considered an art, at that as a professional teaching artist, development of my skills as a teacher is equally important as my development as an artist.

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