Jeffrey J. Kuchan

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Mr. Kuchan is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder and the College of William and Mary. While at CU, he completed a Masters in Music Education with a cognate in conducting.

While not in class Mr. Kuchan was an active clinician and private trumpet instructor in the Boulder area with a variety of symphonic, orchestral, jazz, and marching experience. Mr. Kuchan has served as a marching instructor, brass coach, leadership clinician, and drill writer for high schools in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Virginia. At the University of Colorado, Mr. Kuchan studied and performed with the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and trumpet studio.

Before Colorado, Mr. Kuchan graduated with degrees in Music and History from the College of William & Mary. There he was a leader and performer in the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Bel Canto Brass Quintet, Sinfonicron Pit Orchestra, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. Outside the W&M community, he also performed with Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble and Peninsula Concert Band.

During the summer months Mr. Kuchan dedicates time to his family in Arizona, Colorado, and Massachusetts. He is an avid hiker, mountain biker, and loves hot sauces and salsas.

Teaching Philosophy

I view my role in the classroom as a servant leader to help students unlock their own intellectual curiosity, artistic skills, and musical passions. In this setting, a servant leader is one who embodies the characteristics of service, vision, responsiveness, and trust to serve the needs of the students and the music. My goal as an educator is to empower all students to become lifelong learners and lovers of music. When students leave my classroom, I want them to feel comfortable creating, performing, consuming, and appreciating music. Cultivating student confidence in these activities demands an inclusive, challenging, exciting, and fun curriculum. To capture this and to develop well-rounded musicians, I approach music instruction with a liberal arts lens.

In my classroom, I will challenge students to grow as comprehensive musicians. As performers, students will collaborate in varied ensemble sizes and experience formal and informal concert settings. As historians, students will study music of merit from various historical periods, styles, societies, and cultures. As evaluators, students will develop their own musical voice and taste through listening, reflecting, and critiquing their own work and that of others. As citizens, students will examine music's role in shaping individual and social identities and reflect on their own experiences. Finally, as artists, students will engage in activities to expand their aesthetic sensitivity and creativity. I strongly believe that by connecting each of these facets of musical learning, students have fun while learning and are prepared to enjoy music long after they leave the classroom.

Valid and authentic assessments play a key role in tracking and supporting student progress towards comprehensive understanding. I highly value the use of assessments within the music classroom to establish and maintain academic responsibility, transparency, and trust between myself, students, and parents. Successful music making and learning hinges on the development of positive and productive behaviors and habits. To foster this student mentality and see visible results, assessments must be high in frequency and low in magnitude. This maximizes opportunities for individualized feedback and cultivates student comfort to the point where assessments, learning, and growth become a natural everyday occurrence. A combination of old and new technology play a key role in designing and implementing formative and summative assessments that reflect students' use of musical knowledge and contextual skills.

Finally, since music is a shared human experience, I view the music classroom as a community where students can learn valuable interpersonal and leadership skills. As such, I believe that empowering students with leadership roles allows them to nurture ownership and pride in their learning. Within this environment, I establish structure and provide encouragement so that students can respect, motivate, and learn from each other. To maintain this music learning community, students must frequently share, lead, and lend their voice to a collaborative decision making process. These decisions and student responsibilities can range from low to high importance but all contribute to a inclusive learning environment. This shared culture is crucial for student-focused learning and character development.

Overall, it is my mission that through expansive and detailed music instruction, students leave my classroom prepared and eager to be lifelong learners, leaders, and lovers of music.