"The work of the music educator is to instill in students the skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century workforce and society. We as teachers must be aware that each one of our students are molds, and what we do in our classroom helps to shape, engage, advance and develop them to grow. Learning and innovation skills increasingly are being recognized as the skills that separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future. My belief is that the highest goal as a teacher should be to help guide the growth of independent, creative students to be self-aware, intuitive, and prepared to live fully and purposefully, entering society with the means to change it. A truly outstanding teacher is one who does just this. An outstanding teacher is one who not only provides students with the necessary intelligence and skills but also presents them with a learning environment in which they can flourish. In order to create beneficial classrooms, every student should have the opportunity to flourish academically, musically, societally and emotionally."
" As a teacher I am entrusted with the responsibility of teaching growing minds—each one with a unique set of interests, abilities, and skill sets. The music classroom I grew up in allowed me to harness my artistic abilities and ideas for the better. The environment that was presented to me was one of freedom and conversation. The students played just as important a role as my own teachers. I look to make this environment within my own classroom and allow students to fulfill their individual potentials inside and outside of the arts. Our students are our future and we must not let them slip by us unappreciated and misunderstood. It is our job to reach into each of our students lives and allow them to reach their potential. This is all possible through a healthy learning environment. It is important this relationship is two-sided at all times to aid and benefit the learning and creative process."
"A strong understanding of vocal technique and has the piano skills that are required for teaching at any level. Every lesson I observed was meticulously prepared. " Frank Abrahams
"Dena has a lovely soprano voice of distinctive color. She is a very fine musician with an excellent ear. Dena’s particular vocal interests lie in the area of Baroque music. She recently performed a well-research recital of music of Purcell, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Bach and Handel. " Margaret Cusack
"She is bright, insightful, creative, and motivated. She has an outstanding work ethic, and has an internal motivation that keeps her learning and wanting-to-learn in any situation she is placed." Sharon Morrow