I live and work in the beautiful colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, nestled in the mountains of Guanajuato State, Mexico. Rhythm, Rhyme and Reason began in the US as a result of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and continues in Mexico with great success in rural Mexican primary schools. The program is free and expanding rapidly, with over 100 students and more locations to be added this year. My profile photo features an actual class session in progress for grades 5 and 6 at the Los Ricos school! We combine native instruments from Mexico's ancient past, along with those of world cultures. The all-inclusive program explores poetry and visual arts. This unique concept has become a fluid, empowering medium that brings classrooms to exuberant life!
Mexico, its regions and native influences have added to my vision of teaching and program development. I'm constantly having to design fresh approaches that are not part of the regular curriculum experience. Nothing has been more satisfying than travelling out to resource-compromised communities deep in the Mexican countryside, setting up instant classes in the local schools and opening doors of discovery for the kids!
Grants, awards and residencies include the San Miguel Community Foundation, Schreiner University, Kerrville, Texas - Liberal Arts, Texas Writers' Conference Feature Speaker 2007, University of Leon 3rd Architects' Congress Feature Speaker 2009, John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund, San Miguel Educational Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts - Links and Circle Grants 1996-97, and PROCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) Award for "Best Vocal Work" - contemporary classical, 1987. I've published poetry, essays and over 150 articles, many on ancient civilizations and cultures of Mexico, Central and South America.
I first began 10 years of teaching music, art and general curriculum at the Maja Hazell Nursery School in Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada. My mother was the director and awarded Quebec Nursery School Teacher of the Year upon her retirement for her special contributions to children's education in the province. I'm the former Director of Art of the historic Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, incorporated into the University of Guanajuato since 1950. I taught and was academic advisor for both their Bachelor of Visual Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs. In Nashville, Tennessee, I participated on the faculties of music and visual arts of the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation. I've developed and taught programs for all ages at the Cheekwood Estate and Watkins Institute of Art and Design, as well as for education outreach. I'm a composer of music for ensemble and solo instruments, concert and recording artist. As a painter I've had 60 international shows with works in private collections in Canada, the US, Mexico, South America and Europe.
Rhythm, Rhyme and Reason is about empowerment and confidence building through project-based education. Students are encouraged to make creative decisions, and explore choices in their lives. I enjoyed teaching and designing programs for all ages in the US, with its energy and competitive spirit. Reaching out to Mexico's rich and diverse cultures presents an equal challenge. I hope that the Rhythm, Rhyme and Reason Series can cross borders, combining the best from these two dynamic countries, bringing fresh learning encounters to the classroom experience! I look forward to sharing, and to receiving new ideas from TpT members. For more information, links to visual arts, research, poetry, music, education, articles and recipes from around the world, upcoming events and blog, please consult my website at www.tim-hazell.com
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