Patricia Abud Dixon

Teaching Portfolio




As a Sr. Lecturer with a three quarter time appointment, my responsibilities include teaching classical guitar in the studio and in chamber settings, and other music courses.

  • Music 120 Chamber Music (small string ensemble)
  • Music 165 and 166: Class Guitar I and II
  • Music 298 Guitar Literature
  • Music 161 and 261 Individual Instruction in Classical Guitar
  • Music 120 Basic Music Reading Skills
  • First Year Seminar: Music of Protest in the America's
  • First Year Seminar: Music and the American Dream
  • Music 210 Survey of Latin American Music
  • Music 233 Arts and Activism
  • Music 298 Independent Study
  • Music 249-HMN338 Music and Political Power


My teaching philosophy regarding applied music instruction focuses on developing a solid technique, good reading skills and musical interpretation. I emphasize aspects of music making that encourage interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations to best fit the environment of a liberal arts university. My approach is to inspire students to achieve their full potential by creating a learning situation that encourages joy at every level of achievement, the freedom to individualize their training for themselves, to instill in them a sense of wonder and curiosity that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, and encourage behavior that relies of being mindful in everything they do.


Music teaching is an art that deals with many variables so I treat each student as an individual.  I set specific goals determined by me and the student at the beginning of each semester, and assignments are tapered to each student's needs. I encourage music majors to apply for grants to further their knowledge in other settings, such as festivals or study abroad, and bring visiting artists regularly to offer master classes and lectures. Aside from Guitar Series, other Interdisciplinary programs such as: The American Dream Symposium (2012) and Six Perspectives of Latin America (2014) are some of the funded project initiative I have directed to build a more vibrant campus.

In other courses I favor collaborative projects that include the uses of technology, like student-authored publications that build on knowledge beyond the classroom. I develop an interplay between process and product, collaborative inquiry and networking built on ideas of cycles or products and process, rather than the linear line of traditional scholarship. I also engage the students in discussions about teaching and learning, how they make meaning of their educational experience and develop a sense of purpose. My hope is to instill in them a commitment to developing a learning strategy that focuses on the relationship between love and knowledge, by integrating, mind, body and spirit through comtemplative practices in the classroom and on assignments that focus on first person person reflective writing and self evaluations.

STUDENTS COMMENTS (from evaluations and written reflections)

Guitar Instruction

  • "In many ways you have been the most consistent and important mentor of my college career". Doug Fordham 1995
  • "She always valued my opinions and questions even as I am a complete novice". Chris Seal 2005
  • "I couldn't have asked for a better teacher or a more inspiring class". Annonymous
  • "I have not met an instructor academic or musical, with Professor Dixon's fervor for teaching" . Kevin Muse 1995
  • "I have a profound respect and admiration for those that structure their lives around bringing the gift of music to those that may not have potential to access it otherwise. This class has taught me a lot about myself, as it reaffirmed my love for the guitar, as well as opened my eyes to how much I enjoy service performance. Grant Rhul (2014)

Arts and Activism

  • "I am very glad to have been a part of your class and cannot wait until next semester". Alex Nieczporuk 2010
  • "I learned a lot of good life lessons and will always remember my experiences in class" Connie Miller 2010

Thesis Mentoring

  • "Thank you for serving in my undergraduate and graduate thesis team. Your expertise greatly imporoved my project. I thourougly enjoyed working with you, and I wish you the best". Laura Riddle 2010

Music of Protest- First Year Seminar

  • "Reflecting on personal experiences, emotions, and exploring our mind is essential for solving much larger and broader problems that could affect the entire interconnected web of humanity. Our last class taught us very valuable life lessons about observation, perception, love, and learning." Ryan Taylor 2011
  • "In my opinion it is almost more important to be able to see how something relates to oneself and the world than just knowing what it is or what it does. My main point is that last class got me thinking about how most education has become more about facts and things and less about the process of discovery and understanding, and that is something that will need to be dealt with if we are to progress as people." Dan Johnson 2011
  • "From this lecture I have taken away a different perspective on how learning occurs and what I should be doing to learn. Mainly, I should become an active participant in my learning, taking the time to truly understand who I am and my connection to the subject I am studying. Furthermore, I better realize the importance in creating relationships with my subjects, myself and even the people around me so I can better understand the world." Sam Knutsen 2011

Music and the American Dream- First Year Seminar

  • "Personally, Music of Protest and Professor Dixon have shown me the endless ways in which I can use music to not only change my life, but enhance it as well. This semester showed me that the mindset of appreciating music is the key to opening up its deeper meaning. Coming to class each week was an excitement, and I sought to learn more and more each time. Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you to Professor Dixon for a fantastic semester filled with agreement, disagreement, discussion, protest, and most of all, music." David Spielvogel, Spring 2013
  • "Finally, the greatest gift that this class has given me is the ear with which to analyze music today for its true meaning. Today, I can say with confidence that I can listen to a song with an implicitly charged message and both enjoy and understand it."Lukas Vilella, Spring 2013
  • "When it comes down to it, I don’t know if could even begin to imagine who I would be without music. This course allowed me to looked back at my history with music and really appreciate all that music has done for me." Zack Rowe, Spring 2013
  • "One of the most difficult questions for most people to answer is “who am I?” Reflecting upon who I was entering this class, I realize that I was alive, but not living. I did not question life and always looked to the future, never focusing on the present. This class has not only expanded my knowledge of the country’s history, but also changed the way I live." Aaron Rodriguez Spring 2013
  • "This class has exposed me to so many things that I never tried before. From mediation to yoga to thinking about things from an emotional or even spiritual standpoint, I think about my life and the events that go with it in an entirely new light." Steve Caracciolo Spring 1013



I believe that the mark of a good teacher is that he/she never ceases to be a student. In applied music, the traditions of the art are passed by working closely with artists in the field and by observing how others teach. With time we develop a personal style to meet the needs of our students.

I have worked with internationally acclaimed artists in my field and frequently bring visiting artists to work with my students. I have been involved in the Cincinnati Classical Guitar Workshop headed by Clare Callahan at UC, performing with other colleagues and working with students of all ages. I also travel to South America regularly to teach and present my work, giving me a chance to stay connected to my culture and to work with students abroad.

The information technology area facinates me and I am constantly learning new software to develop interactive leaning oportunities for students. I have developed a collaborative web page dealing with the History of the Early Guitar, from the 1500's to the end of the Baroque period. I also manage another site for my course Survey of Latin American Music . For the freshman seminar on Music of Protest I use Voicethread software to create colaborative working environments. Wake Forest University has provided me with grants to develop technology skills, and also evaluate the applications of new software for teaching.

As a member of the The Guitar Foundation of America, and The American Association of University Professors, I attend conferences regurarly to stay connected with people in my profession, and in the national academy. I also address spiritual issues that foster mindfulness and compassionate behavior for the development of emotional intelligence. I am a member of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and I attend retreats to learn how to adopt teaching methods that foster integrative education, one that strays away from the reductionist approach of just putting facts into students minds, to one that address the whole student as it evolves through learning; where the knower cannot be separated from the known, where critical thinking is as important as non-rational forms of intelligence such as bodily knowing, intuition, interconnectedness, and emotion.

I attend regular offerings at the Teaching and Learning Center at the university to learn new ways of assessing students work, creating syllabi, and studying new ways of improving teaching methodology. I have participated in faculty seminars dealing with Entrepreneurship in the Arts, and Activism and Entrepreneurship. I am in the process of adding a Service Learning component in one of my courses after completing an ACE Fellows Program at the Institute of Public Engagement for academic year 2012-13.


One of the most important tasks in striving to meet the teacher scholar ideal that is central to the mission of Wake Forest University, is the many service activities that define that role. The pro-humanitate moto of the university is central to our purpose as educators, instilling in us an ethical need to serve others in everything we do. One way I have met that role is to serve as a spiritual mentor throguh the program Reading Between the Lines, under the office of the Chaplain, reaching out to students in many personal ways that enhance their spiritual and professional lives through an interaction that includes sharing of ideas, counseling in times of need, and working with mindful approaches to reduce stress, such as meditation and other contemplative approaches.

I also take student to perform in various settings like, nursing homes, hospitals and other venues were people are not able to participate in the arts. This public engagement work in the community provides a much needed service bringing the joy of music to others and instilling a sense of purpose in student's education.

"I was truly in need of direction before I started our mentorship program at Wake. I think in college our spiritual and creative needs often get left behind because of time and other pressures. Talking to you lifted me out of that bubble of stress and made me think more about the bigger issues in life. I can still close my eyes and remember our conversations. Sadly, I cannot say that about every class I have taken". Emily Mihalik 2010

I regularly give presentations on topics I have developed in the community. I have presented for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, at several churches, and for nursing homes and educational intitutions such as The University of the North Carolina School of the Arts. I also teach workshops for the Piedmont Guitar Society, a group I helped create in 1982, and have been invited to present at the Universidad Diego Portales, La Escuela Moderna de Musica and other conservatories in Chile.


I am available for master classes, workshops in guitar and interdisciplinary lecture/presentations.  My areas of expertise are Latin American Music, Music of Protest in the Americas, Latin American guitar repertoire, folk and classical, and interdisciplinary topics covering a range of fields.
I use multi-media technology to present topics of interest, and compliment my lectures with performances of classical and folk music from the guitar repertoire.

To find out more please look at cv.htm

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