Instructor Linda Upshaw | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education

Linda's Background

A native of Seattle, Linda Upshaw began piano study at the age of 6 at the Cornish College in Seattle. She has performed in numerous recitals and talents shows throughout Washington state and was a frequent performer in her high school choir, which
traveled and performed extensively.

Her performance repertoire expanded as a result of her high school musical experiences into community theater and a host of creative art groups. Ms. Upshaw performed with the historic Mt. Zion Baptist Church Sanctuary choir, which included a performance of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra. Many of her students have performed for community events at Benaroya Hall, the Tacoma Dome, the Seattle Hilton, and at Northwest Folk Art Festival. In 2015, Linda provided accompaniment with a local Yale music school graduate and cellist, performing Saint Seans' "The Swan" for piano and cello.

As a high school assembly speaker, Linda has presented her numerous multi-media works at schools in the Puget Sound region. She has also performed major choral works -- including Braham's Requiem, Mozart's Maginificat, John Rutter's Gloria, and Handel's Messiah -- with choir and orchestra at venues in King, Pierce, and Thurston counties.

Linda's education credentials include an A.A.S. degree in Media Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York city, a B.A. in Performance and Media Technology from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, a Master's in Teaching and a WA state teacher credential in Special and General Education.

In 1994, Ms. Upshaw was selected as a Global Dialogue's Fellow by the National Education Association, traveling to 6 Eastern European countries with 8 other American school teachers to learn first-hand about the impact of cultural change on public
education.

Linda traveled to Belo Horizonte, Brazil during the Summer of 2009 to teach art and music to K – 5 students from the Rainbows of Hope division of WEC International Missions.

In addition to the classes she teaches at Seattle Central, Linda teaches piano and voice lessons in her home.

Linda's Teaching Style & Approach

How do you present materials to your students?

I do this in a variety of ways:

  • Examples of others' work
  • Handouts
  • Team building activities
  • Lecture
  • Group discussion
  • PowerPoint presentations

I work to create an atmosphere of wonderment through music, natural sounds, and poetry, and I emphasize that the classes should be viewed as a creative unfolding/experience.

How do you work with and interact with your students?

I give them the parameters of what we will be doing, and where we are going -- like a roadmap.

I give them as much insight about what ground we will cover, and how we will get there. Working, creating solo, and group collaborations.

What kind of classroom dynamic do you promote?

An unfolding, a journey. Supportive, engaging. A sense of joy in learning something new.

Everyone's opinions are valued and I promote the value of diverse viewpoints, life experiences, and level of experience.

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