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Teaching Philosophy

Dedicated to the belief that new music is for everyone, Colin's artistic and pedagogical practices are rooted in the core values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. Since becoming a faculty member at the University of Alabama in 2022, Colin's teaching has contributed to a vibrant studio of undergraduate and graduate composition students. In 2023, he became a co-artistic director of the UA's contemporary music ensemble, which aims to create a welcoming, adventurous space for performers of all backgrounds and skill levels to engage with music of our time. 

As a teacher and mentor, Colin strives to:

  • Challenge and debunk any latent assumptions about contemporary music, ensuring it is not bound to any artistic aesthetic.

  • Confront and redress the inequities that persist in our musical landscapes while continually fostering a culture of respect and open-mindedness.

  • Spotlight musical pieces that amplify the voices of underrepresented and disenfranchised groups, pushing the boundaries of traditional programming.

  • Actively identify and challenge implicit biases embedded in contemporary Western art, paving the way for a more inclusive and representative artistic future.

  • Advocate for and instill equitable practices within student ensembles, ensuring each member is both seen and heard.

As an instructor of music composition, Colin has been given the powerful opportunity to play a pivotal role in young artists' development and creative journey. It necessitates giving students prescriptive, technical direction based on his knowledge and artistic impulses while encouraging them to write what they know, what they want to hear from their own musical intuition. He works to create this balance so that his students internalize fundamental composition and analytical concepts and techniques to make such constructive decisions on their own, honing that intuition to write music that is holistically theirs. This is why he teaches through collaboration.

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