School of Music Lecturer/Alum Is 'Classroom Hero'

Jason Chuong MAT '09 (Music Education), BM '08 (Percussion) profiled in new book titled 'American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom'

September 25, 2013

School of Music alumnus and Senior Lecturer Jason Chuong BM '08 (Percussion), MAT '09 (Music Education) is one of 50 teachers profiled and celebrated in American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom (Welcome Books), a new book by author Katrina Fried set for release on October 12.

American Teacher shines a spotlight on one of the most unsung yet critically important professions in the world. Over the course of two years, Fried has interviewed and written the stories of our nation's most passionate, innovative and decorated teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade, selected from public and public charter schools across America. The result is an inspiring collection of narratives that takes us into the classrooms of 50 extraordinary educators whose creative and unconventional methods are transforming the lives and futures of their students.

Chuong, who teaches in the University’s MAT in Music Education program, is also a full-time itinerant class instrumental music teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, where he teaches grades 3-12 in some of the city’s most challenging neighborhoods.

“Here I was, a first-year teacher with 250 students and a budget of $100. My solution was bucket drumming,” Chuong says in the book.

A member of the Pennsylvania Music Education Association and the National Association for Music Education, he also performs professionally as a jazz drummer in the Philadelphia area, including with the three-time Grammy nominated Brazilian jazz band Minas. In September 2011, Chuong was chosen to go to the White House to speak on education funding with President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. That same year, he was also featured in short film created by the U.S. Department of Education.

Barnes & Noble and publisher Welcome Books will host a talk by Chuong as part of the bookstore’s Educator Appreciation Days, which celebrates teachers nationwide. His "Importance of Music in Education" lecture will take place on October 15 at 4:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove, Pa.

Above: Photo of Jason Chuong and his students from American Teacher.

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