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Interview with Eunice Kang, January 16, 2013

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:22 - Early days in the career

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me when and why did you become a music teacher?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kang talks about the unexpected journey that led her to teaching orchestra in public schools. She talks about how her first day taught her to adjust when things don’t go according to plan. She talks about the joy of getting to know her students. She describes how her experience teaching private lessons helped prepare her but also how her lack of training made classroom management a challenge.

Keywords: Akron, Ohio; Athens, Georgia; Clarke Central High School; Clarke Middle School; D.M.A.; Doctor of Musical Arts - Performance; M.M.; Master of Music - Performance; The University of Akron; UGA; University of Georgia; cello; cello performance; classroom management; doctorate; graduate school; mentorship; orchestra directors; private lessons; studio teaching

00:05:46 - Highs and lows of teaching

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Partial Transcript: Why have you stayed in teaching?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kang talks about finding more satisfaction in her job after focusing less on technical achievement and more on having the students enjoy the experience. She describes some of the reasons teachers may leave, including low budgets and excessive responsibilities. She talks about the importance of concerts, especially the GMEA Solo and Ensemble. She talks about the challenge of adjusting her teaching style for different personalities.

Keywords: ABRSM Grade 3; ABRSM Grade 5; Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music; GMEA; Georgia Music Educators Association; Solo and Ensemble; budgets; classroom management; concerts; core subjects; high school; middle school; solo ensemble; “festival”

00:10:24 - Teaching style

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about a time when music teaching made you feel hopeful.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kang talks about feeling hopeful when her students show enthusiasm for playing music outside of the classroom. She tells a story about her approach to handling an emotionally volatile student. She talks about having thoughts of changing careers during the first few years of teaching. She talks about trying to add more firmness to her soft teaching style.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; Clarke County Public Schools; Doug Spata; Gargoyles; cello; high school; low frustration threshold; middle school; piano; pushover; student debt; student loans; viola

00:15:56 - Professional development / learning from students

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about the best teacher you’ve ever had and what you’ve learned from him or her.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Kang talks about absorbing a love for music from her orchestra and cello teachers. She talks about motivating students by choosing music that excites them. She talks about the importance of observing other teachers, attending conferences, and paying forward the mentorship she received. She describes the unique relationship she formed with a student she taught for seven straight years.

Keywords: B.M.; B.Mus.; Bachelor of Music - Performance; Bloomington, Indiana; Doug Spata; GMEA; Gauntlet; Georgia Music Educators Association; In-Service Conference; Indiana University Bloomington; Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi; cello; concerts; conducting; mentorship; motivating students; motivation; orchestra; orchestra directors; orchestra teachers