Music Education Philosophy
As a music teacher, I believe that all students, regardless of socio-cultural differences should have music education as a fundamental part of their education from pre-k through high school, during the school day. I believe that through music education students can build connections internally and with others, in ways that develop their capacity as emotionally healthy human beings to achieve highly within their personal relationships, careers and society. To start any educational endeavor, all classrooms should cultivate a culture that support students with safe environments that encourage belonging, build self-esteem and encourage students in self-actualization. This all begins with a music teacher who is guiding with joy and passion, not only for the subject of music but for the students being taught with the overarching idea that all students deserve the right to achieve.
Every student should have the opportunity to participate in diverse musical environments. Classes need to allow students to function as observers, participants, creators, and teachers in music classes. Experiences should focus on developing depth of meaning in music rather than focusing on the breadth of the subject. Opportunities to engage in learning beyond the classroom within the local community and greater community should be encouraged to all learners with consideration on skill level of the learner and the quality of these avenues.
Collaborative and independent opportunities for students to engage in the classroom to pursue their own passions in music are important. A well rounded musician needs to work independently with focused determination for self improvement and still function within a musical ensemble to best serve the group as a whole. Going beyond the classroom for student learning and collaboration into global and professional settings allows students to see their learning outside of the school curriculum and in the setting that they will become a part of as lifelong musicians. Collaboration and music experiences should happen within the classroom, at festivals, in community bands and choirs, as well as other avenues of musical relevance.
It is the job of the educator to lead with joy for music and a focused implementation of the National Music Standards that is well scaffolded to the ability level of the students. Performances are celebrations of learning, focusing on the effort and growth in the development of new skills with less focus on perfection and more centered on personal and group excellence. Effort, growth, and achievement, regardless of degree, should be recognized and celebrated. The end goal of a school music program should not be to grow every student into a professional level musician, but to cultivate and nurture a love of music that will follow students into their adult life.
Updated: July 4th, 2016