Demonstration of Kansas Music Teacher Standards
Nicholas Pool firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Nicholas Pool and I was born and raised in Salina Kansas. Music has long been a very influential part of my life. When I was very young I participated in the various youth choirs offered at my church. In fourth grade I began playing in my church hand bell choir and got my first experience with ensemble playing. In the fall of my fifth-grade year, I began learning how to play the alto saxophone in the elementary school band program. I took an immediate interest and that following spring I began taking private instruction from Judy Weber, whom I still remain close with today.
I continued to be involved in music throughout middle school. I participated in solo and ensemble contests, and received AP ratings on my solos both my seventh-grade and eighth-grade years. In high school I have continued to participate in solo contests, in which I have received superior ratings every year. I also received a superior rating in our high school saxophone quartet. In addition to studying with Judy Weber, I have also studied with Dr. David Higbee, a retired music professor from Bethany College. I have been a member of several local musical pits in our high school and community theatres. As I grew older many of friends were students involved in music or the fine arts in some capacity. I think this high level of exposure to fine arts focused people has really helped to shape me into the person I am today. Also, many of my early boy/girl relationships were made with people who had a high revere for music education. I think this definitely affected my ideas about life, love and relationships.
One event that occurred in my life that spanned both music and my outside life was the death of a close friend. My relationship with Jim Durham started out purely as a business and work venture. Jim was a retired accountant who attended my church. He requested someone to help him around his house, lawn, and garden. He got my name from my youth pastor and quickly I began helping Jim around his house. He paid me for my work, but our friendship soon grew beyond that of boss and employee. As I mentioned, Jim was an elderly man who five to six years after my initial encounter with him passed away. His widow asked me to play some music at his funeral. I can say without any doubt in my mind, this was one of the toughest and most emotional musical performances of my life. Using music to mourn and cope with the loss of a friend was something I had never done before.
All of the fore mentioned private music teachers were hugely influential in my emotional, cognitive and musical development. I remain very close with them both and I am sure I will for years to come.
As proud as I am of all of my musical accomplishments, I am acutely aware that there are vast amounts of musical knowledge and degrees of performance that I have yet to attain. I think the desire to better myself musically is essentially why I pursued a music education degree. A career in education provided me with a way to constantly learn more about music and to share that gift with others. Throughout my life my family, friends, and teachers have all supported my efforts to better myself in music. Every day I strive for perfection and never settle for anything less than that. I feel that pursuing a college degree in the field of music is an exciting way for me to do so. Beverly Sills, Chairman of the Board for the Lincoln center of the Performing Arts, and opera singer, once said, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” This quote completely explains my mission statement for my musical and educational career. I must continue my education journey to see what goals I can accomplish.
I am nervous to begin teaching; however I am excited for the challenge. I think so much of being a good teacher is simply practice, and there is no better way to practice teaching than to stand up in front of a classroom and to teach. I feel that I will be able to relate to students in a very real way. I also feel like I have an adequate knowledge of my content area in which I want to teach. Lastly, I feel that I have the required passion necessary to teach. I feel that what I currently lack is the working knowledge of how to run a successful program; the nuts and bolts type of knowledge. I feel like Music 512 is a great place to start learning this type of information. Also, I feel that so much of what we learn in college is through observation of our instructors, whether that be private instruction or ensemble. I think a healthy day to day dose of passion for music is the primary thing all music teachers must get from their education. Being taught by people who are excited and passionate about what they do is the best way to learn how to teach music.
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