Shireen Amini is a queer, Puerto Rican-Iranian, Earth-loving musician whose career as a singer-songwriter, performer, percussionist and teaching artist in Central Oregon for has spanned 15 years. She has recorded several albums and performed throughout the West Coast as a solo act and fronting her Latin dance rock band ¡Chiringa! She holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and a certificate in Sound, Voice, and Music Healing from CIIS in San Francisco. Since 2015, Shireen has developed music-for-wellness offerings including sound healing and community singing and has taught hand drumming as a spiritual empowerment tool. She recently recorded her newest studio album in Boston, MA titled “Break Myself Free,” which will release in spring 2021.
“TAP has been an amazing inundation of philosophies, tools, ideas, perspectives and strategies that have equipped me more than ever to enter the modern world of teaching artistry. I’ve taken in the technological techniques for teaching online, current tips and standards for resume and grant writing, deepening my understanding of multiple intelligences, Universal Design Learning, power and privilege, trauma-informed teaching and social justice orientation. I immediately found these seeping into the online drumming classes I was teaching concurrently through this program. I also found this learning giving me the structure and principles I needed to guide the formation of my future classes, which I’m so excited to create. The group of creative, skilled, and fascinating fellow artists have inspired me and many have become friends. One of my favorite activities was creating an opening activity, with fellows who shared the same art form, keeping multiple intelligences and Universal Design Learning in mind. The spark of collaboration and the opportunity to integrate these strategies into a real-life activity were enlivening and invaluable. I have also had a chance to dive deep into the elements of creating myself and my curriculum as a teaching artist. Knowing how I create and the values I carry seems like a no-brainer but the prompts to usher these out of me have been really wonderful for self-awareness and for sculpting the descriptive language I will use out in the world. Knowing what the heck a mini teaching path is and how to structure a lesson plan has been helpful too, haha! Song: https://youtu.be/sKvMa-LAmU0”
Most Memorable TAP Moment:
“One of my most memorable moments occurred while I was taking a workshop entitled “Then Came Hope: Using Art Methodologies to Bridge Gaps Caused by Trauma.” I came into TAP knowing I wanted to share my art form as a way to help students heal themselves, but I had always been so intimidated, not knowing if or how well I was equipped to handle the breadth and depth of their pain. I was afraid I would not be able to do transformative work without in-depth education in therapy. When the facilitator said, “[The students] don’t have to go there. Play is how you transform trauma,” I experienced an aha! I felt empowered to step with more confidence into working with students who may have experienced trauma in their lifetime. The perspective, tools, and inspirational stories that came from this workshop quelled my hesitation and gave me the encouragement I needed to move forward. Not only that, it reminded me that this gentle and light approach is how I was able to heal my own trauma.”
Find out more about Shireen here:
- Solo performance video: https://youtu.be/x_BYFYLzVTo
- Cajón performance video: https://youtu.be/VC5PkcVCjKM
- Latin band performance video: https://youtu.be/jlE1fTnAkHM