Music is a science; it demands exact acoustics. The sheet music is a graph, which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the exact control of time. Music is mathematical; it is rhythmic and divides time into fractions that must be done instantaneously. Music is a foreign language; the markings are in Italian, German, or French, and introduces markings and styles from all different cultures.
Music is physical; it requires coordination of their fingers, arms, hands, face, legs, diaphragm, and so on. Many people marvel at how music helps standardized test scores and helps teach other subjects; however, one must not forget that music is art. I am there to help paint a picture with my students as we create emotions together. Helping students experience emotion and humanity is why I teach.
I teach music to help my students become well-rounded individuals through all these topics. However, I don’t expect all of my students to major in music. I don’t expect them to play or sing all their life. I don’t teach music so that my students can relax and get an ‘easy A’. I teach so that my students will recognize beauty, so they will be more human, and so they will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, and more good. In short, more life.
As a teacher, I strive to help mold the next generation of citizens. My classroom may only be one stop in the lives of students, but I hope to teach them skills they may use for the rest of their lives. Even if my students don’t love music or are only doing it “for the fine arts credit”, my hope is that they are still able to take a life lesson away from my class. My subject introduces multitudes of other concepts and topics. My overall goal as a teacher is to help my students be well-rounded, and for them to understand that their hardships are not ones they must handle alone. I do this by creating a learning community that is open and free from judgment or shame; one that is focused on accepting each other as people and helping their peers. This is easy to achieve in a band setting, as students feel comradery with their fellow instrumentation. I work to push that bond by encouraging sectional time and encouraging upperclassmen to advise the underclassmen on their instrument. In creating a bond with the band as a whole, some of the best opportunities are on bus rides, pep bands, or performances. I don’t expect everyone to be the best of friends, but I do expect everyone to respect and care for one another. Just like an athletic team, if there is any disjointedness between the group, it can be detrimental to the classroom environment and team performance. If I can push this early on with my ensemble, the students will understand the teamwork needed to perform.
Learning comes from the interest and motivation from students. I can do this by creating engaging and exciting lessons that apply to all types of learners. If my lessons are easily understood and retained, then I know I have succeeded in teaching that topic. If I have students submit playing tests and each recording is at an excellent level, I have succeeded in teaching them technique and pitches. However, I accept that I will fail. I assess myself daily in what I do through my failures. Without failure would not come success. I understand that I might drop a beat while conducting, forget to ask percussion to play, or lose track of class time. If I am constantly striving to improve my techniques, then I am consistently becoming a better teacher and human. If my students are not at the level I desire, then I must look upon myself to see what I need to do better in my instruction. If my students are struggling with a piece or excerpt, or wish to have an audition for an ensemble, I must be willing to put in the extra time to work with them and and guide them to success. I also improve my techniques by visiting conventions all across the state and nation to discuss different concepts with educators who will most certainly have new ideas for myself. These conventions, along with music festivals, can not only help myself become a better educator, but can help my students become better musicians. The feedback of others is invaluable to me.
I work to maintain my relationships with my students by taking an interest in their lives. Knowing how to properly spell or pronounce a student’s name, for example, can go a long way in someone’s book. I want to always know how my students are feeling, if their day is bad or good, and if their lives are crashing down around them. As a teacher I must be empathetic at all times. Creating a bond with a student is a friendship that lasts for life. Students may then feel safer and understood in my class than with others, or even with a guidance counselor. This allows me to not only guide my students, but also be sure they themselves are safe at home and in their lives outside of school. Their parents are no exception; if I am to care for the well-being of a student, then I should care for the well-being of their parents as well, as their home-life plays a huge factor into their education. It is then up to me, not only as an educator, but as a human, to provide any assistance I can in order to make their lives more fruitful.
There are so many details that I must be in tune to to create a community of learners in my classroom. However, one thing stays the same throughout: I teach music.
Create your own unique website with customizable templates.