Demonstration of Kansas Music Teacher Standards
“A Personal Philosophy of Music Education”
I want every child to have an opportunity—an opportunity to succeed, an opportunity to begin their own pathways, or an opportunity to become what they want to be. I believe these opportunities are what all teachers should stand for. I want to create a safe environment for them to live and grow in. This environment will allow students to analyze both themselves and the music. In order for this to occur, both the students and teachers are thinking on two different levels: intellectually and musically.
Formal education is necessary for the stimulation and growth of any youth; it is the central hub for children to develop a sense of community. It is the process of training and developing skills, mind, and character in a structured environment. This environment naturally flows into the music room. In the music classroom, students are required to explore areas of critical thinking. By doing this, we as teachers must delve deeper into the students themselves. We must understand their needs, weaknesses, accomplishments, goals, and priorities. By doing this, we open a new door for communication, growth, and learning in our classrooms. It is necessary to greet them at the door and ask them about their day. The little things we do make a difference, no matter where one is teaching. We are all still human beings with some sense of feeling and understanding.
Also, the word ‘students’ does not always apply exclusively to our pupils, but also to ourselves as educators. We must continue to actively participate both in and outside our classrooms and go above and beyond expectations, just as we ask our students to do. The students are only accomplishing as much as we accomplish. In order to set that bar, we need to develop a curriculum challenging enough for us as well as the students. This is just one example of our professional responsibilities. This term is describing the day-in day-out workings of an educator. This includes necessary paperwork, lesson plans, student-teacher meetings, and conversing with fellow faculty and administration. This is just a short list of responsibilities, with the uppermost being setting the students as the top priority. Being students in a multicultural and multidimensional society, we need to attend to these needs and better the students.
When developing learning strategies, teachers must balance their goals with the abilities of the students and these goals must be set high. If one expects greatness, they will get greatness in return. In order to achieve these high standards efficiently, the nine National Music Standards are the basis for curricular decisions, but it is so important to have supplemental materials. Concert observations, music analysis, general music theory, and an understanding of the piano are just a few examples of core skills to cover. Along with the physical aspect of playing music, the curriculum should always require theory and methodology, such as scales, method books, and etudes. Developing muscle memory and ear training helps students focus on the more demanding parts of music, along with focusing on tone, posture, and other necessary skills while doing practice drills they have worked on consistently. These core skills apply to any voice or instrument. After the core skills have been developed and honed, then the availability of challenging and thought-provoking music can come into play. Naturally, a first grader will not think on the same level as a ninth grader. However, first graders can understand or at least differentiate such complex feelings as love with enough thought to develop an understanding and image in their memories. Choosing music that is easily mastered, in addition to selecting music that challenges their skills, creates a sense of accomplishment in students.
These two elements, intellectual and musical thinking, are the two main points of any music classroom. Implementing these two ideas is a simple process to explain but challenging to implement. First, the teacher is required to understand the student base. Second, the teacher must choose the tools students will need, including theory, technical work, and repertoire. Step three involves setting the goals for the group before the students have input. After the student’s own evaluation of the ensemble, their input can be heard and assessed. These student evaluations encourage students to engage their minds musically and intellectually.
The most important element to music making is making music, whether it is the teacher or the student. We are part of an ensemble and that in itself is a unique experience. We are obligated to not only keep our musical and intellectual integrity, but to instill those values into any pupil who comes through our doors. I believe my job as a music educator is to create a safe environment for students to comprehend, assess, and prosper no matter how they learn. This in itself is the nature of music: a raw, passionate, selfless art we are given to share with our students and peers.
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