Welcome! My name is Mr. Baker, and I teach band, jazz band, and guitar at Hamilton High School. Have a look around, hopefully you can find what you are looking for.
My Education and Professional Background
I hail originally from the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. As I grew up my family moved several times, finally ending up in Memphis, TN. No wonder I chose a career in music! I moved across the country to attend Arizona State University, where I graduated with my degree in Music Education. In my time there I studied with Professor David Hickman, one of the most widely celebrated teachers of trumpet pedagogy and a masterful performer. While studying under him I had the pleasure of traveling to Denver, CO to participate in the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, where I had the opportunity to study with the likes of Joe Burgstaller, Ronald Romm, Alan Hood, John Marchiando, and others. During my university studies, I also performed as a lead trumpet at the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. In my two years there, we made DCI Finals for the first time in Academy's history. Since graduating from ASU, I have been teaching band here in the East Valley! I have experience working with multiple schools and arts groups here in Arizona, including Corona Del Sol HS, Basha HS, Marcos De Niza HS, Phenom Drum and Bugle Corps, and Flux Indoor Percussion. I have been the Assistant Director of Bands at Hamilton High School since 2019, and I look forward to growing the band community here for years to come!
My Educational Philosophy
While teachers are an integral part of the education system, I believe students must be given a leading role in their own education. I challenge my students to fail every day, because only through failure do we grow. I urge my students to look at every challenge and obstacle through the lens of their own growth, and pinpoint how each challenge will help them become the best versions of themselves. Too often in our world parents, teachers, and students alike are obsessed with "perfection"; perfect attendance, perfect grades, perfect test scores...and yet there is little benefit for the student if they are not allowed to fail. I hope to teach my students that it is okay to stumble, because learning how to pick yourself up is the key to a happy and successful life.