Annie Atkin Rasmussen
I'm Annie Atkin Rasmussen.
Welcome to my teaching portfolio.
Being a music teacher brings me JOY.
Connecting with students through music is an amazing experience. I have the privilege of wearing the many hats of a music teacher: high-energy lesson presenter, singer-storyteller, passionate instrumentalist and puppet show connoisseur, to name just a few!
Please explore my work with the above links and contact me here. I look forward to working with you!
At age eight, on the day of my very first piano lesson, I played my very first piano piece twenty-five times. I tallied my performances on a little scrap of paper next to my Alfred d’Auberge Piano Course primer. Luckily for everyone within earshot, Mom was my first piano teacher, so she was able to quickly assign me a new piece and save everyone’s sanity.
I am proud of that little girl. I meet her every day in some form or another, now that I teach piano and flute students of my own. It has been an honor to continue to practice and pass on the love and commitment that my mom and many other teachers showed me.
I fell in love with band in middle school, where I started playing the flute. I became a passionate member of my high school marching band. My school suspended our marching band for one year – my senior year – so I went to my rival high school, auditioned, and served as their drum major for my final marching season.
I graduated with honors from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education (band emphasis) in 2007. Shortly after graduation, my husband and I moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, so he could acquire his Ph.D. While in North Carolina, I focused on teaching flute lessons, freelancing as a choral accompanist, and starting our family.
We moved with our two children to Houston in 2014 where I reopened my studio, teaching play-based group piano classes for children ages 4-11. I also started volunteer work as a choir director for an active church choir, ultimately overseeing the combined musical efforts of nine congregations.
In 2018, I transitioned my studio to focus on private lessons and founded Music Poppins, an independent curriculum publisher. I played every role in the company: developing detailed lesson plans, manipulatives and visual aids; publishing songbooks and teacher guides; creating demo video series; and even recording and engineering my own play-along ukulele albums, which are currently available on iTunes.
In my spare time I love to cook, write, and spend time with my family.
My Teaching Philosophy
Music Education is Essential
Music brings us joy.
As an innate expression of the human soul, music is an indispensable part of a great education. Music classes present unique and powerful opportunities to meet our students’ social, emotional, cognitive, and even physical needs. Every student deserves to undertake this rich study and partake in this rewarding part of human life.
Music helps us to understand.
Music isn’t simply a fun activity or even just an academic study – music is a tool we use to explore the universe. Well-rounded and firmly-grounded musical teaching sets the stage for a lifetime of deeper musical enjoyment, equipping students with the skills they need to engage in the musical practices of many cultures as well as their own.
Music empowers us to express ourselves.
A great music education equips students with the skills and confidence they need to create their own musical adventures. Grounded in a foundation of essential musical skills, students are prepared for higher-order musical studies in the grades to follow, as well as in life-long learning.
It is my role to truly connect with my students.
Music classes offer unique openings for me to reach students and create community. There is a place for every child to participate; each student enriches the class with their energy and ideas.
It is my responsibility to provide a safe learning environment.
Students need a safe place to gain competence and confidence in their musical abilities. I manage the classroom and mediate student behavior to create an atmosphere of trust for students to take risks, explore the unknown, and support one another.
It is my role to be an example of joyful participation.
In a music classroom, students need more modeling and less lecture. It is my responsibility to model the attitudes, behaviors, and activities I ask of my students.
It is my duty to engage with the community that my school serves.
It is my job to have a deep understanding of the community that my school serves, and be aware of its cultural resources and the needs of its populations. A major purpose of my teaching is to enable my students to participate more fully in the music that is important to their families and cultures.
My Role as a Music Teacher
I use a blend of high-quality music education approaches.
I primarily use a Kodaly-based teaching method, supplemented with ideas from Orff, Gordon, Dalcroze, and Suzuki teaching. I ensure that the materials we study are ethical and of the highest quality.
My teaching is focused on multi-sensory, play-based, active discovery learning experiences.
Playful discovery learning at the heart of all of my teaching. Music has an underlying theory grounded in math, logic, physics, and biology, but that theory is best understood physically first. I address each concept through singing, games, and movement, then label the concept before discovering that same concept at work in other contexts.
I prioritize foundational musical skills.
Every activity in the class is aimed at teaching and practicing core musical skills, addressing standards set by the National Association for Music Education. In addition, I prepare students to practice appropriate solo and group performance manners and respectful audience behavior.
I constantly reflect and refine my teaching methods.
I am an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association, and I attend their annual convention to network with other teachers and glean inspiration and insight.
My Teaching Approach
Behavior management begins with a structured environment.
My classroom is a learning environment that clearly communicates appropriate behavior through designated activity areas. I use flexible, directional seating and visual aids to segment lesson into different concentrations.
I communicate my expectations clearly and consistently.
I use call-and-response behavioral cues inspired by Whole Brain Teaching. I prominently display my expectations and lead my classes in practicing my procedures until get them just right.
Engaging content keeps my students on track.
Music class content is packed with intrinsic rewards; engaging and well-organized classroom activities are key to managing the classroom. Students are motivated by music that they like and activities that they love. I incorporate popular music alongside traditional folk, world music, and classical music to address a variety of interests and make connections between genres.
I believe in students.
Most of all, I believe that students want to succeed. Some students enter my classroom unsure of their roles or with behavioral challenges or exceptional needs. But every student brings heart, ideas, and imagination to my class. I create my classroom to include every student, regardless of their level of ability.
Every student is a GOOD student. It is my privilege to show them that they are.
Sample My Work
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5507 Indigo St.
Houston, TX 77096