Saturday, July 04, 2009

Saturday Sessions: Del Suggs on teaching


Del Suggs is a singer and songwriter whose work in music has led him back almost full circle these days to the interests he had while studying for a master’s degree in education at Florida State University. Through his music, he’s had opportunities to work with college students and staff not only on developing music programs but in such areas as career planning, leadership, and goal setting. Here, he talks about what he does to get better at his teaching practice.

“The best things I've found to improve my teaching are reading and teaching,” Suggs says “Reading keeps me plugged into the views of others and helps me learn new concepts and ideas. And when I say reading, I don't just mean ink and paper. I spend a great deal of time reading on line, and it reminds me of my childhood in the library. I've always loved libraries, and loved the serendipity of just wandering the aisles and picking up any book that caught my eye. It's even easier on line. I'll 'Google' something of interest, and an hour later I'm a world away from where I started, just following tangents.

“Teaching also makes me a better teacher. I've always felt like doing something is the best way to improve at it. Not practicing doing it, but actually doing it. It goes back to my early days as a performer. I might practice a melody or fingering for hours and not be able to play it. But once I starting attempting it in a real performance, I was suddenly able to do it. I know that the practice helped, but not as much as actually doing it.”

Suggs is a Florida native who calls what he does saltwater music. You may keep up with his music and speaking gigs at his website, and look for
him at the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities Conference in New York City (Aug. 24-26), Univ. of Connecticut (Aug. 14), Univ. of Akron (Aug. 15), and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (Aug. 26).
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you may also want to see

Music Road: saltwater music: del suggs

Music Road: Saturday Sessions: Emily Smith on songwriting

Music Road: creative practice: laughter

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