Demonstration of Kansas Music Teacher Standards
“A Personal Philosophy of Music Education”
Education shapes the society in which we live. Schools should teach our students not only what to think but how to think. This means that students do not only learn information and content, but they also learn ways in which to apply and use this content. Learning methods for solving complex problems is another vital element of what we learn in school. This in turn means educators must also find innovative ways to stimulate students to think creatively. Finally, we need to teach students to be compassionate and caring individuals. All of these things are an essential part of an education that leads students to grow into successful, prosperous adults. When students complete formal schooling, it is essential that they have all the necessary tools to lead a happy and productive life.
The discipline of music contains a substantial amount of content. Fundamental principles of singing or playing an instrument, basic rules and usage of reading and writing music, historically significant players and composers, these only represent a small portion of the content that music can teach. Because the success of music is so dependent upon the active participation of each musician, there is a built in mechanism for applying the content that we teach. Skills and content are taught to students, and immediately they are required to apply and use said skills and knowledge. Music also teaches methodology. There are clear processes for learning music, and through participation in music classes, students learn what they are and exactly how to use them. This is a very global idea. Once students learn a musical process, whether it be reading rhythms or adjusting pitch, they then have a logical problem solving method that can be applied to any critical thinking situation. This type of skill promotes higher order thinking and encourages students to gain true understanding and mastery of an idea or concept. Finally, because of its aesthetic appeal, music calls to the emotional side of every human being. There is not a culture of people in the history of civilization that have not used music to express themselves in some way. This aesthetic element allows us to realize our humanity, and thus connects us with society. As Paul Lehman writes in his article A Personal Perspective, “Every person needs opportunities to express his or her creative and aesthetic potential.”
Amongst a plethora of facts, figures, and other various information, students learn how to respond to the aesthetic qualities of music. Music encompasses so much of what schools need to teach, and in ways no other subject can.
As in any subject, it is the role of the music director or instructor to guide students and help them achieve their highest level of learning and understanding. To do this the teacher must work and learn with the students to find the best and most logical solution to any problem. Mutual respect and trust must be encouraged in the musical classroom. Every student should feel that the music is a safe respectful place in which they can express their creative thoughts. No one student should feel that his or her differences make them any less valuable or wanted. The music classroom should be a nurturing safe environment for everyone.
By learning about music students are learning about being human. They are learning skills that can be applied to all facets of life. The principals taught in music classrooms are so far reaching that it is hard to assess where their impact ends.
|©2008 Kansas State University Music Education • Contact Us|