QEP Excellence Award in Innovative Instruction

with TTU Provost Ghorashi 

I am very honored to be a recipient of the QEP Excellence Award for Innovative Instruction for my project during 2013-14. I first came across the QEP during my first year at Tennessee Tech when I attended the new faculty orientation. This program was implemented in early 2000s by TN Board of Regents and provides a significant amount of funding to encourage innovative instructional projects. The goal is to help students cultivate critical thinking, real-world problem solving, and communication skills. I have received funding from QEP for the past three consecutive years (over $10,000) that made several dream projects come into reality. Here are some examples, and you can read more about them here:

  • "Cultivating Musical Entrepreneurship through Chamber Music Ensembles"
  • "Reed-Making Workshop"
  • "How to Develop and Maintain Successful Private Studios" (to be implemented during 2014-15)

My foremost goal as a teacher is to help students develop the highest standards of musicianship and proficiency. But I also strongly believe that we need to do more:

  • Providing opportunities and seed projects for students to become self-driven 
  • Teaching all aspects of music entrepreneurship, including programming, publicity, fund-raising, soliciting, development, etc.
  • Giving students exposure to all available resources, technology, and cutting-edge ideas
  • Helping students develop specific goals for the next decade and long-term vision for the future
  • Instilling a sense of responsibility and vocation for their lives as musicians, educators, and entrepreneurs
  • Helping them to build their professional network early on 
  • The list is endless and is keep growing...

I feel very fortunate that my own teachers showed me many great examples back in school. I hope I can do the same. There are many challenges ahead for students pursuing musical career, but I am also genuinely excited for the tremendous opportunities awaiting them. 

Who doesn't like being given a plaque (and a $1,000 cash incentive)?