Hello, boys and girls! My name is Jason Smith. I have been happily teaching music at The Honor Roll School since 1999. In those many years I have taught singing, recorder, xylophone, keyboard, drums, percussion, music composition, history & theory to thousands of THRS students. Some highlights of my teaching include directing musicals such as “Of Mice and Mozart”, “The Littlest Christmas Tree”, and “Elfis and the Sleigh Riders”. Other yearly highlights include Fall, Winter, and Spring Concerts along with our annual Elementary Western “Go Texan Day” concert. Over the years in these concerts we have performed music by many composers including many songs I have personally written especially for the students to play.
I believe music and the fine arts are the most important part of any student’s day, and I bring that verve and passion for music to my teaching each day. I graduated from California State University Long Beach in 1994 with a Music Education degree with a Choral Vocal Emphasis. CSULB is a wonderful school which helped me achieve my goal to become a teacher. More recently I have been studying during the summers to learn all about the Orff Schulwerk pedagogy (I have Level 3 Orff Certification) which focuses on how children succeed at learning music (and in turn – all life skills) by getting involved in playing music on easy to play, yet challenging percussion instruments, working as a team, performing in groups together, and becoming an interdependent unit. Singing and movement are also important in the Orff Schulwerk system. Most of our concerts include songs in which some students play xylophones, keyboards, and other percussion to accompany the majority of students who sing the songs. Emphasis is placed on student participation and one of my jobs is to identify the musical talents each student has and then to encourage them to work at their talents every day.