Music Department TA Training
This wiki page is intended to serve as a syllabus for the TA training course of the music department (Music 280) and as a resource for teaching assistants containing helpful information and links.
- 1 Program of the Workshop
- 2 Teaching Info/Resources in Braun and CCRMA
- 3 Round Table 1: Instructor Expectations and Tips
- 4 Round Table 2: Overview of the Academic Job Market
- 5 Teaching Info/Resources at Stanford
- 6 Dealing with Difficult Situations
- 7 Teaching Workshop Guidelines
- 8 Teaching Workshop Videos
Program of the Workshop
May 4, 2019 (CCRMA)
- 09:00am - 10:30am: Breakfast / Overview of TA work and Policies / Teaching Goals Teaching info/resources in Braun and CCRMA
- 10:30am - 12:00pm: Round table with recent graduates and faculty: instructor expectations and tips ++ overview of the academic job market
- 12:00pm - 01:00pm: Lunch break
- 01:00pm - 04:00pm: Teaching workshop (with coffee/tea break)
May 5 (Braun)
- 09:00am - 09:30am: Breakfast
- 09:30am - 10:30am: Teaching workshop at Braun
- 10:30am - 12:00pm: Reflection on Pedagogy and Inclusion in the classroom
- 12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch + Q&A session
Teaching Info/Resources in Braun and CCRMA
- The Department of Music Graduate Handbook contains useful information for TAs regarding payroll, requirements, etc.
- Undergraduate course requirements for music majors: https://music.stanford.edu/academics/undergraduates/current/studies-programs-in-music
- Scope of courses and teaching requirements
- "Writing in the Major" courses: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/tutoring-support/hume-center/writing/writing-major
- Strategies for success
- Keys for the graduate student lounge and copy room (230)
- Piano locations, printers/copy machines/scanners, audiovisual cables and remotes
- Important departmental contacts and resources
- Forms and resources: https://music.stanford.edu/intranet/forms-resources
- TAing Tips for CCRMA Courses
- Audio/Video Equipment
Round Table 1: Instructor Expectations and Tips
- Giancarlo Aquilanti
- Heather Hadlock
Video available after the workshop.
Round Table 2: Overview of the Academic Job Market
- Giancarlo Aquilanti
- Heather Hadlock
- Ge Wang
- Mark Applebaum
Video available after the workshop.
Teaching Info/Resources at Stanford
- Video on Major Stanford policies and practices every TA should know
- Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning
- Graduate Teaching Commons - Grad Teaching Workshops and Resources
- General Information on Sexual Harassment
- Hume Center for Writing and Speaking
- Academic Skills Coaching
- Using Axess and Canvas
- Required Stanford TA Orientation (Apr 1, 2019 or Autumn 2019 date TBA)
- Trainings for Stanford Employees
- Sexual Harassment Training
- Mandated Reporter Training
VPTL Midterm Small Group Feedback
Consider getting help from VPTL to obtain feedback from your students. This is extremely valuable if you are considering a career in Academia and/or if you are new to teaching at Stanford. Student Feedback
International Teaching Assistants
- English Screening of International Teaching Assistants
- Maintaining a Legal Status: ITIN vs. SSN
Advice for working with first-gen/low-income students
Dealing with Difficult Situations
What do I do if a student has threatened suicide or disclosed severe emotional or psychological distress?
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) counsel with Stanford community members who are concerned about a student. https://vaden.stanford.edu/caps-and-wellness/assisting-students-distress
- If you feel the situation presents imminent danger or harm to anyone, call 911 immediately.
- If the situation is urgent, or if you’d like help assessing the situation, contact a CAPS on-call clinician at 650-723-3785 anytime. Regular office hours are M–F 8:30am–5pm. If you’re calling at any other time, you’ll be forwarded to the answering machine service: don’t be alarmed! The service will page the on- call clinician, who will return your call within twenty minutes. Leave a message identifying yourself as a Stanford faculty or staff member, indicating the urgency of your request and a phone number where you can be reached.
- If your situation is non-urgent but you’d like help handling it, contact the counseling staff at CAPS (650-723-3785). Each academic department is assigned a consultant who supports faculty and staff in dealing with student concerns. You can also visit this page: Supporting Vulnerable Students.
- Two more resources if you are concerned about a student:
- If the student is an undergraduate, they have a Residence Dean who provides students with professional advising and assistance with personal emergencies. (https://resed.stanford.edu/get-know-us/find-your-residence-dean-rd)
- Rowen Leigh (650-725-1932) is the Undergraduate Student Services administrator in Braun.
What do I do if I suspect a student may pose a risk to themselves or to others?
Report the behavior to the Stanford Department of Public Safety (650-723-9633, or https://police.stanford.edu/#contactsection). If it is an emergency, call 911 immediately.
What do I do if I suspect there has been an Honor Code Violation?
- First, do your best to assess whether a violation has occurred by reviewing these documents:
- Speak with the course’s principal instructor as soon as possible.
- If the principal instructor cannot be reached, contact the Office of Community Standards (650-725-2485 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to get help assessing the situation.
- Review procedures for reporting Honor Code Concerns at the Office of Community Standards. A few notes:
- It is recommended that concerns be reported within sixty days of the incident.
- Once you submit a concern, you have initiated a judicial process, so please use the utmost discretion.
- Be sure to maintain students' confidentiality throughout the process. If you discuss an Honor Code matter with anyone other than your principal instructor, avoid naming the student.
- Review your rights, described in the Student Judicial Charter.
What about any other complicated or difficult situations with students or other instructors? CAPS has an emergency number if you suspect a mental health crisis: https://vaden.stanford.edu/get-help-now/immediate-mental-health-crisis-assistance Begin by contacting the TA mentors, i.e. Kirstin or Julie, to discuss problems.
Teaching Workshop Guidelines
During the teaching workshops participants will teach a twenty to thirty minutes lecture or workshop that simulates a class that they will likely teach next year. We’ll solicit feedback from the audience and discuss what worked well and what could be improved using the Feedback Guidelines presented below. The goal of this feedback is not so much to evaluate your performance but to explore how the attendees experienced your class from the student perspective. Attendees who will teach a CCRMA class will do it during the Sunday morning session and attendees who will teach a music class will do it on Saturday.
We’ll ask you to complete the following tasks during your lecture/workshop:
- Set up lighting, chairs, and tables
- Distribute a paper handout
- Write on the blackboard
- Play an audio example over the loudspeakers
- Show a visual on the projector from a laptop
Depending on your TA assignments, not all of these tasks will come up when you actually teach; we just want to make sure you feel comfortable doing them if necessary.
Teaching Context (with sample answers)
The participants of the TA training course will be requested to answer to the following questions before the course in order to better prepare the teaching workshops:
- Name of teacher: Irán Roman
- What is the number and title for the course you’re simulating? Music 42 (Music History after 1830)
- Describe the typical education level and musical background of the students in this course. Mostly sophomores and juniors; mostly music majors who have already taken the ear training and theory sequences.
- How long is a typical class meeting in this course? Fifty minutes for the TA’s lectures
- What is the topic for the class meeting that you’re simulating? Opera and musical theatre in the early 20th century
- When does this class meeting usually occur during the quarter? Final third of the quarter (week 8 or 9)
- What is the subtopic for the particular twenty minutes you’ve chosen? Alban Berg, Wozzeck Act I scene 2
- When would these twenty minutes occur within the class meeting as a whole? The final twenty minutes of class
These are some guidelines that will be given to the students attending to the teaching simulation.
Here are some common student "types":
- Student 1 is consistently late; misses some classes; is distracted and sometimes rude while in class; is indifferent to most of the material and is only there because the course is required.
- Student 2 is talkative and enthusiastic; is always the first to enter discussion or answer questions; is eager to please; finds the material interesting but often doesn’t do the reading.
- Student 3 has failed the course once and is retaking it; feels incompetent; finds the material alienating but really wants to do better this time.
- Student 4 is quiet and well-behaved in class but disengaged; written assignments indicate a lack of absorption of the material.
- Student 5 has an advanced musical background; feels ownership over the material; is used to getting good grades; doesn’t want to be the teacher’s pet and often hangs back from the discussion.
- Student 6 is a good and well-behaved student; finds the material moderately interesting; participates occasionally; is mostly concerned about getting a good grade.
Please feel free to add any types that we've omitted!
Now, from the perspective of each of these student types, consider the following questions about the teaching simulation you attended:
- How was the pacing?
- Was it an appropriate amount of material, given the subtopic for the twenty minutes as well as the topic for the entire class meeting?
- Which parts were particularly helpful?
- Which parts were particularly interesting?
- Which parts were confusing?
- Which parts were boring?
- Did the teacher seem accessible?
- Did the teacher seem engaging/charismatic/inspiring?
- Did the teacher seem offensive or off-putting?