The faculty at CAA provide an inspirational foundation that drives our students to success. Our teachers range from nationally published authors and award-winning scientists to working artists and Golden Apple Award winners.
Take a look at what they have to say about CAA:
“The things that motivated me to begin teaching several years ago are the same things that motivate me to teach every single day: I feel very passionate about keeping the art form of jazz singing alive and teaching and performing are the two most influential ways to pass it down. Most young students don't realize that a career as a Jazz Singer is possible and can be profitable if one is educated in the history of jazz, the business of music and the art of performing. I firmly believe that any sort of exercises in vocal improvisation have a positive effect on students, as it allows for taking risks in a comfortable environment and the freedom from doing so creates personal and musical growth.”
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“It is a special privilege to be a part of the small, intimate community of learners and professionals at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Here I find it easy to apply my skills doing what I love to do: teach science. I have a highly supportive administration, which helps me advance the science curriculum and the excellence of science instruction at the school. Spirited by the arts and a chance to learn, students want to be here and are therefore, very teachable. I also enjoy the challenge of getting students to recognize the importance of integrating fundamental scientific concepts and process skills into their training in the arts.”
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“It is an Electrically Creative Environment! I love teaching at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Nowhere else have I seen a collection of faculty and students display such a high degree of enthusiasm for nurturing and exploring their creative gifts. It is an environment where the artistic and expressive possibilities seem endless. Attending CAA means the students have consciously joined a group who share the belief that they can collectively change the world through their talents and creativity. Can a teacher ask for anything more?”
In 2003 Michael was awarded a Neighborhood Arts Program Grant from the City of Chicago to initiate a program titled the “Young Composer’s Project.” This project combined Howard Gardner’s concepts of ‘Multiple Intelligences’ with the basic building blocks of music to teach math and creative writing to children grades K-6 in a public elementary school on Chicago’s south side. He regularly performs with the Chicago Philharmonic, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, is a founding member of the Chicago Miniaturist Ensemble.
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“All knowledge is valuable. All knowledge is relevant. Even if it is not directly relevant to our profession or our craft, it is always relevant to our human existence. The educational philosophy practiced at CAA and the partnership of sensibilities which exists between the members of our community is important to me professionally and personally. I have always been fascinated by languages and studies relating to languages, such as linguistics and linguistic anthropology. Knowing several languages became a reality through life circumstances and at some point, it turned into a profession.
One of my favorite teaching moments is the instance when a student, for the first time, moves away from the literal to the abstract language application, and thereby makes the language his/her own. Language is what makes this relevance possible, what allows us to “depict” ourselves in our own eyes and to “label” and systemize the reality around us. It is a mysterious, ingenious system which is an integral part of human experience. It lives among us in our societies evolving and changing as we do and it lives within us, an intangible entity, psychosomatic occurrence, part of our daily existence.”
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“I chose to work at CAA because it seemed one of the only schools I’ve known where the school sought to educate the whole student. I am like the students here—I want to encounter ideas with both my head and my heart, in both a classroom where we read and write about them, and also in the rehearsal room where we feel them, embody them, and express them through voice and movement.
I love teaching Academy students in my sophomore American Lit class. It is there where I really see how our combined academic and arts program builds a breadth and depth of skills in our students that complement their work in both parts of their day. When we read and discuss The Great Gatsby, I see the passion and rigor that artists bring to their academic work, and our class discussions sparkle from their understanding of how the innovations of Jazz Age culture, for example, shaped art. As a result they encounter the literature we study with passion and understanding for both the writing and the writer. In my Musical Theatre studio, I see my students apply the intellectual rigor and work ethic that their academic work demands, and use it to analyze the script and songs we are working on.”
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