Demonstration of Kansas Music Teacher Standards
Andrea Weber firstname.lastname@example.org
My personal history as it pertains to music and education has been influenced by teachers in past as well as my family. This has made me want to teach music not only through good experiences, but rough ones as well. My backgrounds from my neighborhood, to my experiences with those who have touched my life have made me who I am today, and have made me aspire to become a music educator.
My neighborhood background greatly influenced my music and school experience. I grew up in a large suburb of Kansas City of approximately 100,000 individuals. I went to a 6A high school, and the socioeconomic status of my family is middle class. Since my high school was so large, there were multiple options for musical involvement. Band, orchestra, multiple choral ensembles, and even a music theory/appreciation course were possible to enroll in for music participation.
My family has had a large positive impact on my want to teach music. I have an older sister and a younger brother. All three of my parent’s children, including myself, were taught that music was an integral asset to life. My father and grandfather taught music, and my grandmother plays the organ. So, from my earliest memories I can think of music being around as an outlet for expression, or as a component of life in which to learn from. I know it is said that memory is most closely connected to smell, but I think many of my fondest memories are connect to music. One memory I always hold onto is when my sister and I were given a book which told the story of Peter and the Wolf. The book did not actually use words, but the piece “Peter and the Wolf” by Prokofiev. I distinctly remember how I thought it was so amazing that I didn’t need to read the book with words to understand its meaning. That was probably one of the first experiences I had with music which has inspired me. Another place where I have felt the most touched by musical experiences would be in church. My father is the choir director at my church when I was growing up. I found that the music I was listening to was more than just pretty music. It connected me to things higher and nobler. These experiences inspired me to learn more about music, not just enjoy the listening aspect of music.
I was also influenced by my music teachers when I was searching for a way to incorporate music in my life and career. I have had both good and bad music experiences. In elementary school, my general music teacher was a bright light of energy and joy when it came to learning about music. My junior-high choral and band teachers were not so inspiring. Both were working towards the end of their careers and lost much of the energy or effort to give towards their classes. My choral teacher preferred to have our class watch movies whenever there was nothing else to do, and she had terrible classroom management skills. She often lost her patience and would yell at the entire class. When seeing this, I wanted to persevere through her teaching and started to consider teaching myself. I wanted to change all that she had struggled with, and help my future students enjoy music, not lose interest and quit when they reach certain challenges. My high school choral teacher was a great change to my junior high music experience. She had energy, skills and great classroom management. She was a great example and helped me realized how much more I really wanted to be a music educator.
I think both my positive and negative experiences with teachers inspired me to become an educator. I also believe that my family has given me constant support in music and allowed me to find my own way into teaching music. My desire to teach has made me both excited and a bit nervous about my first year teaching. I am excited to spread my knowledge and enjoyment of music to my students. I feel confident in my classroom management techniques because my leadership positions both in high school and in college have helped train me into knowing how to work best with large groups of individuals. I am nervous about reaching as many students as possible. I can anticipate how to work the students that are interested in the class and who do not have many challenges outside the classroom. However, I am nervous about how I should help the students that are either not interested, or are distracted by problems they might have at home or even in school. If I were to be asked to teach tomorrow in a classroom, I think I would be emotionally ready, but not organizationally ready. I prefer to plan my steps and lesson ahead of time and not having much time to prepare would make me nervous. However, if I had time for a plan I would be eager to get into the classroom. I believe that the most beneficial part of my time left in my college education is the class which will help with any administrative duties I would have in organizing the classroom, and most importantly, teaching experience. I feel that the more I teach in front of my peers and real classroom students, the more confidence, knowledge, and abilities I would accrue in order to become a better educator. Overall, I believe that all my life experience either positive or negative will only help me become a better music teacher.
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