Alumna Olivia Malin ’07MM, on choosing a career as a music educator

Olivia Malin works with students at KAPPA International High School

Trumpeter Olivia Malin ’07MM, who studied with Allan Dean and worked in the Music in Schools Initiative during her time at YSM, is entering her 11th year as a public-school music educator and teaches at KAPPA International High School in the Bronx, New York. Malin spoke with us recently about being inspired, as a student, to pursue a career in education despite the pressure she felt to focus on performance.

Q: You were a Teaching Artist in YSM’s Music in Schools Initiative. How did that program prepare you for what you’re doing now at KAPPA International High School?
A: While I was a student at YSM, I was also working in the Music in Schools Initiative. At first I stayed firmly in my comfort zone, teaching elementary/middle school brass group lessons. Midyear, I was branching out to woodwinds and percussion, and in the spring, I was running full band rehearsals when the band director wanted to do isolated lessons himself. I also began working with first- to third-graders learning piano and guitar. My second year in the program, I was placed at a high school where I got the opportunity to teach higher-level lessons and music, and to assist teaching AP music theory. The varied placement over those two years gave me a significant taste of what teaching K-12 would be like, with significant hours teaching piano, guitar, band, and general music classes. Even more important, the program was the first exposure that opened my eyes to what urban schools need, and what they don’t need, from me. At KAPPA, I now teach rock band, guitar, IB music, band, beginner band, and chorus – and I have also taught piano and general music – so the majority of classes I helped with at YSM are in fact what I teach full-time now.

Q: Did you know or think, upon enrolling at Yale, that you’d become a music teacher?
A: I have always taught private trumpet lessons, but no, I never thought I would be a full-time music teacher. We all know the stigma that exists about music teaching, and I admit I used to believe that only those performers who weren’t very good would end up as educators. It’s an easy thing to believe, since once a person becomes a teacher, it’s pretty difficult to maintain a high level of performance on their instrument, and most people don’t see the “performance level” of teaching. It’s hidden in the classroom – your audience is 30 students who don’t always applaud. One of the most difficult barriers I broke through was deciding that public-school teaching would be a higher calling than performing. There is so much outside pressure in the performance world not to become a teacher, and that pressure shows up constantly in little ways from friends, teachers, family, and the general public.

[Prof. Dean, Malin said, “is a wonderful teacher who taught me well and supported me through this decision to switch to teaching, something I think not all professors would be able to do.”] 

Q: What informed your decision to transition from focusing on performance to focusing on education?
A: What I started noticing was that my levels of happiness and self-worth after teaching at Lincoln-Bassett School or Wilbur Cross High School were significantly higher than those after an orchestral rehearsal or concert. I also noticed that I looked forward to being around the students – learning from them and laughing with them as much as teaching them content – much more than I expected. Their energy in the band room was so fresh and vibrant that I wanted more and more hours teaching in the program, and I spent extra time there after my paid time expired. The real moment, however, was when Associate Dean Michael Yaffe approached me sitting in (operations manager) Tara Deming’s office one day. He started talking about me to other people in the office, about what great teaching looked like and that he saw amazing potential in me when he saw how I lit up around students. In that short conversation, I saw something in myself that had until that point been a hobby, something I was good at and made a little money at, but which had never been a true option. Hearing him say those things out loud suddenly gave the green light to a career I hadn’t realized was a possibility – and a highly respectable possibility validated by the associate dean.

Q: What would you tell incoming YSM students who’re starting to think about what their careers might look like after school?
A: Be open to absolutely anything, say yes to everything, and be professional constantly. The music scene for you can be a combination of so many fulfilling things that it makes no sense to pigeonhole yourself early on. Don’t rule anything out simply because of generalizations – they may not apply to you! I am going into my 11th year of public school teaching. I am a proud high-school teacher in the Bronx and a trumpet player in a salsa band in Manhattan – and I wouldn’t change anything about my life.

Published August 1, 2017
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Inside YSM: Ashley Hale ’18MM, trumpet

Ashley Hale ’18MM

Meet YSM student trumpeter Ashley Hale ’18MM, who recently spoke with us about how she came to choose the Yale School of Music.

“I must admit, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to attend grad school,” Ashley said. “I was so ready to be done with classes and stuff that I hadn’t thought of it. There I was at the beginning of my last year of undergrad and I did not have any plans. I decided to audition for schools and see what happened. I was asking around for recommendations of schools because I had not done much research. I applied to YSM on the recommendation of my teacher at the time, Roy Poper. Once I got here, I was pleasantly surprised with how little it feels like school. I’m only taking two classes but I am involved with many outside-of-class activities. I go to class in the morning then teach in the New Haven Public Schools as a Yale Teaching Artist, get to make music with my brass quintet, and sometimes rehearse with the Yale Philharmonia. I am loving my life here at YSM and am so glad I decided to apply!”

Ashley talked specifically about studying with YSM faculty trumpeter Allan Dean.

“Studying with Mr. Allan Dean has been great!” she said. “He has such a strong concept of phrasing with everything he does. I am always amazed with his reasoning for each musical idea he has. Phrasing is definitely something I need to think more about and I’m looking forward to learning much more from him.”

Of taking advantage of all that the School, the University, and the city have to offer, Ashley said, “The campus is so pretty and I’m really enjoying New Haven. It is great to be able to study in a cute place as well as a brand new building. I have not taken any classes within the University yet, but I might look at some language classes later, if possible. I love being able to utilize the libraries and immense resources on campus. There are so many places within the School of Music that I love. I like to spend time in the recording studio (CSMT) working on different projects, as well as the music-composition lab in Leigh Hall.”

#insideYSM

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Published March 24, 2017
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Concert remembers composer, former dean Ezra Laderman March 2

Ezra LadermanThe Yale School of Music presents a concert in memory of the late Ezra Laderman on Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 pm. Laderman served as Dean of the Yale School of Music from 1989 to 1995 and on faculty as professor of music until his retirement in 2014.

The concert will feature selections from several of Laderman’s compositions, as well as spoken and video tributes from his Yale colleagues.

The world premiere of Laderman’s Partita for Solo Violin will be performed by alumnus Benjamin Hoffman.

Frank Morelli and Ole Akahoshi, both members of the School of Music faculty, will play movements from the Partitas for solo bassoon and solo cello, respectively. MORE

Published February 23, 2016
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CANCELED: Brass of Yale performs at Carnegie Hall Jan. 24

Yale Brass Trio

Yale Brass Trio

Update 1/23: We regret that, because of the severity of the blizzard, this concert has been canceled.

The Yale School of Music continues its acclaimed Yale in New York series on Sunday, January 24 with a program of music for brass. The concert will highlight the school’s acclaimed brass faculty as well as the contributions to the brass repertoire of past and present Yale composers. The program honors the late composers Ezra Laderman and Gunther Schuller, both of whom served on the Yale faculty.

The evening is anchored by the Yale Brass Trio, comprising William Purvis, horn; Allan Dean, trumpet; and Scott Hartman, trombone. They are joined by fellow faculty member Carol Jantsch, tuba, and numerous YSM students and alumni.

Ezra Laderman

Ezra Laderman

A former dean of the Yale School of Music, Ezra Laderman (1924–2015) joined the Yale faculty in 1988 and served as Professor of Music until his retirement in 2013. He also served as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. William Purvis, Allan Dean, and Scott Hartman will perform the New York premiere of his Brass Trio, written in 2005. MORE

Published January 5, 2016
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Yale Brass Trio performs music by Laderman and more Nov. 10

Yale Brass Trio

Yale Brass Trio

The Faculty Artist Series at the Yale School of Music presents a recital by The Yale Brass Trio on Tuesday, November 10 at 7:30 pm.

The members of the trio, who all serve on the Yale School of Music faculty, are William Purvis, horn; Allan Dean, trumpet; and Scott Hartman, trombone.  They will be joined by award-winning guest pianist Mihae Lee.

After opening with music from the early Italian Renaissance, the program will honor the memory of Ezra Laderman with a performance of the late composer’s Brass Trio.

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Published November 2, 2015
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Yale in New York series announces 2015–2016 season, opening Oct. 25 with Nielsen and Sibelius

“The Yale School of Music has established a formidable presence with its Yale in New York series at Carnegie Hall… mainly by presenting inventive programs of mostly new or unusual works.”
The New York Times

Yale in New York at Weill Recital Hall

Yale in New York at Weill Recital Hall

The Yale School of Music announces its return to Carnegie Hall with the 2015–16 season of Yale in New York. The series—now in its ninth year at Carnegie—has garnered a reputation for its creative and diverse programming, with frequent collaborations between Yale’s distinguished faculty and its exceptional network of current students and alumni.

The season consists of three chamber music concerts, all on Sundays at 7:30 pm at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. The first concert will take place on October 25, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the births of composers Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius. MORE

Published October 9, 2015
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Yale Brass Trio celebrates music from the Renaissance to today in Feb. 9 concert

Yale Brass TrioThe Faculty Artist Series at the Yale School of Music presents a recital by The Yale Brass Trio on Monday, Feburary 9 at 7:30 pm.

The trio comprises three Yale School of Music faculty members who all have established high-profile careers of their own: William Purvis, horn; Allan Dean, trumpet; and Scott Hartman, trombone. Along with award-winning guest pianist Mihae Lee, they will perform an eclectic program features music from the English Renaissance to 19th-century France to the present day. MORE

Published February 3, 2015
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Erika L. Schafer ’01MM hosts 2014 Trumpet Festival of the Southeast

tito_allan_editedThe 2014 Trumpet Festival of the Southeast, an annual celebration of trumpet playing and teaching in the southeastern United States, took place January 17–19. It was hosted by Erika L. Schafer ’01MM at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Featured artists were YSM faculty member Allan Dean as well as Tito Carrillo, Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the University of Illinois. Each performed in concert and presented a master class. MORE

Published January 28, 2014
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Yale Brass Trio performs with Carol Jantsch, Mihae Lee Nov. 19

Yale Brass Trio

Yale Brass Trio

The Yale School of Music presents a recital by The Yale Brass Trio on Tuesday, November 19 at 8 pm. The members of the Yale Brass Trio — William Purvis, horn, Allan Dean, trumpet, and Scott Hartman, trombone — will be joined by Carol Jantsch, tuba; and Mihae Lee, piano.

The concert is part of the Faculty Artist Series, which features the School’s prestigious faculty in performances that are free and open to the public. This program marks the first time that Jantsch, who joined the Yale faculty in 2012, will perform on the series. The concert takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street. MORE

Published November 6, 2013
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Yale Brass Trio performs music from the Renaissance to today Nov. 14

The Yale School of Music presents the Yale Brass Trio in a concert on the Faculty Artist Series on Wednesday, November 14. The trio comprises three Yale School of Music faculty members who all have established high-profile careers of their own: William Purvis, horn; Allan Dean, trumpet; and Scott Hartman, trombone. Along with guest artists such as pianist Mihae Lee, they will perform music from the early Italian Renaissance to the present day.

The program opens with a selection of pieces from the early Italian Renaissance, including selections by Bartolomeus Brolo and Cesaro Todino. Next they shift to twentieth-century Europe, performing Aria et Polonaise by the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen and Recréation for Brass Trio and Piano by Pierre Gabaye.

The second half of the concert opens with the Nocturne for trumpet and piano by contemporary American composer Anthony Plog. A dramatic piece, it features dark, brooding passages contrasted with uplifting tunes. Another duet follows, the lighthearted Divertimento for horn and piano by Jean Francaix. The concert concludes with a flourish: Plog’s Music for Brass Octet, featuring guest performers from the School of Music.

The concert begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street). Admission is free. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.
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Published November 7, 2012
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