Tobin Shucha, Waunakee, joins the UW-Richland faculty this fall as music instructor. He’s scheduled to teach an array of courses during the academic year including band, chorus, music theory, music literature and appreciation, and aural skills.
What can students look forward to? “My guiding principal is trying to make my teaching work for my students. If it’s not working for students, then odds are that I’m the one who needs to change,” he said. “This might mean teaching many different ways for different students . . . I believe that fair is not that everyone gets the same thing, but that everyone gets what they need to succeed.”
Shucha’s prior teaching experience includes courses as a UW-Madison teaching assistant 2010-2013; Director of Bands for the Lodi School District 2006-2009; Band Director and instrumental music teacher for Waunakee Community Schools 1999-2006; and Director of Bands at Franklin Public Schools 1995-1999.
A Ph.D. candidate at UW-Madison, Shucha has completed coursework and passed preliminary exams for a doctorate with an emphasis on music education and a minor in instrumental conducting. He earned a master’s degree in music education from UW-Madison in 2005, and his bachelor’s degree in music education cum laude from UW-Eau Claire in 1995. As a UW-Eau Claire student, he was a member of the Singing Statesmen, a group that also included now-UW-Richland assistant campus dean for administrative and financial services Dundee McNair.
Shucha has published numerous articles on topics in music education in Wisconsin School Musician and other journals. His “American Spirituals for the Young Tuba and Euphonium Quartet” was published by Beautidel Music in 2006. He’s a member of the Consortium for Research on Equity in Music Education and the International Tuba-Euphonium Association.
“Euphonium is my favorite instrument to play,” he said. “Most people call it a baritone horn, but that’s not quite correct. The baritone horn versus the euphonium might be considered analogous to a trumpet versus a flugelhorn–the length of tubing is the same, but the baritone, like a trumpet, has a narrower gage and a flared bell for a brighter sound, while the euphonium, like the flugelhorn, has a wider gage and a conical bell, for a darker, warmer sound.” He plays most brass instruments, percussion, and said, “I can keep up with beginners on all the band and orchestra instruments, and I can generally use the piano well enough as a teaching tool, though I wouldn’t say I’m much of a piano player!”
Shucha is looking forward to spending time in the Richland area’s driftless region. “I think that the area is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m hoping to take up fly fishing for trout on some local streams. I do a fair amount of small-lake fishing–shore, boat, ice–but have never gotten into fly fishing,” he said.
An Eagle Scout, he’s served the Boy Scouts of America as a cub master and is presently an assistant scout master. Earlier this summer he took part in a Boy Scout trip with his 13-year-old son, Cal, during which the group hiked 54 miles in seven days. He also has a daughter, Kate, 10. His wife, Bonnie Shucha, is assistant director for public services at the UW-Madison Law Library. The family also includes two miniature dachshunds.
A lifelong Wisconsinite, he says that he’s never lived outside Wisconsin for longer than a few weeks at a time. Through his travels, primarily with Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps (1988-1993), he’s been to 44 states and six nations outside the USA. “I like to cook–Alton Brown is my guru–and I like to grow things to eat, especially herbs and hot peppers,” he said. “But I also love to go out to eat. Cooking shows and sports–I’m a homer . . . Packers, Brewers, Badgers . . . are just about the only things I watch on TV. I have an addiction to word and number games, and to Diet Mt. Dew.”
For more information, contact Shucha by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the campus at (608) 647-6186, Ext. 240.
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