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Alan Weinstein receives 2012 Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence


Alan Weinstein Alan Weinstein

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 26, 2012 – Alan Weinstein, assistant professor in the Department of Music in the School of Performing Arts and Cinema in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, has received the university's 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Created in 1982 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to two Virginia Tech faculty members each year. Recipients are selected by the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence from among those faculty members who have received certificates of teaching excellence from their respective colleges in the preceding three years. Each recipient is awarded $2,000 and is inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2003, Weinstein was recognized for his exceptional musicianship, tireless work ethic, and great compassion for his students in the Department of Music.

Weinstein consistently receives among the highest teaching evaluation scores of faculty members in the department. His scores average between 3.9 and a perfect 4.0 on the Student Perception of Instruction evaluation. His teaching assignments are broad, encompassing one-on-one instruction in applied cello and double bass, as well as small group chamber music coaching. Each semester, he also teaches Creativity and Aesthetic Experience to over 1,100 non-major students seeking to fulfill their fine arts requirement. 

A former student writes: “I loved this class. Professor Weinstein made great connections to current events and modern arts and culture.”

Another student writes: “Thank you for an enriching class that truly opened my eyes to the various forms of art I encounter day to day.”

David E. Gagnon, a former student of Weinstein’s from 2003 to 2007 said, “It takes a skilled teacher to combine high standards with personal kindness, and Alan has succeeded. Alan Weinstein is easily the finest cello instructor under whom I have studied.”

Since 2003, Weinstein has developed applied cello, bass, and chamber music courses for music majors and minors. Participation in these courses has increased tenfold since that time. Other achievements include winning the Phi Beta Kappa Sturn Award for Faculty Excellence in Creative Arts or Performance, teaching numerous master classes throughout the United States and Europe, and grants for teaching and outreach from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others.

Weinstein is also co-founder of the Virginia Tech String Project, an organization providing string instruction to elementary students as part of a program to recruit and train future string music educators. He is also a founding member of the nationally award-winning Kandinsky Trio, artists-in-residence at Roanoke College for more than 20 years.

“Alan is a uniquely gifted and successful teacher,” said William J. Crone, associate professor and department head. “He is a demanding, yet compassionate teacher, and his students continually rise to meet the challenges he puts before them.”

Weinstein received a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, and a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. He performs regularly on major concert venues throughout the United States and Europe.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech includes programs in the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college seeks to illuminate human experience and expression by creating works of lasting scholarly, cultural, and aesthetic value; empower individuals to engage critically with the complexities of a diverse, global society; and foster the inquiry, innovation, and growth that produce individual and social transformation.

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