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“Dr. Mark” E. Turner

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Bio & Information

Hi! Let me tell you a bit about myself.

What began as a dream to become a high school band director became a musical adventure with kids of all ages. I’ve spent the last 30+ years making music with kids (PK-8) in Houston, TX, and Seward, AK, and at the college level as a mentor and teacher to pre-professional music education students.

Over the years, my thinking and experiences with children have changed my pedagogy and vision for making music with kids. As I grew more comfortable and confident with who I was as a musician and teacher, I began to explore a more child-centered approach to making music. In the early 2000s, what emerged from my reading, research, and constant tinkering was very similar to what would become known as personalized learning. Out of this, I developed Listen, Move, Think! and Musica Bella. In both of these approaches, one for classroom professionals and the other for music specialists, the teacher facilitates conversations about different curriculum aspects from students’ artistic work. The graphic captures the simplicity and elegance of this idea.

Listen, Move, Think! graphic.

At the moment, my focus is on an innovative way to approach STEM and music. I call this STEMusic because it’s not arts integration, and it’s not STEAM. It’s an approach that begins with sound based on acoustic physics laws and ends with building things that can make musical patterns. Think, Rube Goldberg meets Dr. Mark.

Additionally, I see a lack of quality, student-centered music activities for tweens and teens. Because COVID has disrupted our ways of thinking about delivering quality educational experiences, I wanted to create a fun game-like musical experience that could be completed on any computer with Audacity (freeware) and minimal adult supervision. What I’ve developed is a series of music puzzles that allow kids to make musical choices. Each puzzle is based on a well-known tune in the public domain.

But WAIT, there’s more. I continue to work on innovative educational experiences for children of all ages and am currently focused on tweens and teens.

Interesting facts about me.

  • I was born in Grants, New Mexico and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and have driven from Texas to Alaska and back four times.
  • I studied classical ballet as a child.
  • I have sung and played musical instruments my entire life.
  • I can make music out of any sound and love to improvise.
  • I compose short pieces of instrumental music.
  • I’m very curious and can connect seeming disparate things.
  • Ideas. I love ideas. I love possibilities.
  • I’ve written a children’s ballet.
  • My life’s theme song: “and when I die, and when I’m gone, there’ll be one child born in this world to carry on, to carry on.” (Laura Nyro)


Training Topics

  • Academic Enrichment (cooperative learning, STEM/STEAM)
  • Critical Thinking
  • Educational Enrichment (art, music, etc.)
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Game-based Learning
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Program Design, Development, and Quality
  • Project-Based Learning

Service Types

  • Coaching
  • Consulting
  • Facilitation
  • Keynote
  • Mentoring
  • Multi-Day Training
  • One-Day Training

Target Audience

  • Capacity Building
  • Mid-level Administrators
  • Upper-Level Administrators

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