Objectives and Goals
Community growth enabling everyone to experience music
High achievement through student-driven goals
Foster environment that creates personal and group development leading to life-long learners, service-oriented and morally upstanding people
Provide students with an appreciation for the music they create and its cultural context
Creative lesson planning differentiating between student levels to create an inclusive environment with music that all students can enjoy
Development of service-based leadership team to promote peer mentoring and culture building
Ultimately, my goal as an educator is to serve the students and for this reason I choose to make my lessons and classroom incredibly student centered and driven. I believe it is more important for students to cultivate growth instead of results as it is the process of creating music that is most important. I see it as my job to support my students by passing on my passion and the countless benefits of a music education. I group these benefits into three broad categories: aesthetic, emotional utilitarian and technical utilitarian. Aesthetic is the idea that we study music because we enjoy its creation and the experiences we receive i.e. "we do music for music's sake." Utilitarian, on the other hand, is the out of music benefits that our students receive. I personally place more weight into the aesthetic and emotional utilitarian benefits as I feel that music is the only vehicle that can provide that to our students.
Music's function as an outlet for self-expression, creativity and community provide the basis for the aesthetic benefits. “When art is experienced… it delights in a way that few experiences in human life produce” (Reimer). Music education functions as a “systematic attempt to help people explore and understand human feeling by becoming more sensitive” (Reimer). For this reason I believe that music gives experiences that cannot be achieved in a conventional classroom setting. In addition, music pushes our students to “[experience] the joy of self-expression… [and participate] in the deeply human satisfaction” of creativity (Shultz). If our students can collaborate in this format they can develop deeper human connections and a sense of community.
Emotional utilitarian benefits come from skills necessary for the creation of music, but who's impact is felt outside of that space. “Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective” (Clinton). This is seen as emotional and social development as these skills, and direct emotional growth from a deeper understanding of emotional self, allow students to better empathize and communicate. These benefits aren’t always individual either as "[music] demands self-discipline. It takes commitment and teamwork”(NAMM). Within music, all students are an integral part of a team and reap the benefits of working towards a common goal.
Technical utilitarian benefits are skills that students gain from music that are not necessarily connected to its creation. For example, “SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 43 points higher on the math potion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts” (College Board). While these may seem like exciting numbers I don't necessarily place any importance on these benefits. Although there is a correlation and I do want my students to succeed in all areas of life, music is not, and should not, be a means to an end. We should study music because we value music, not what it does for us.
Although it has not been explicitly stated above, I truly believe that it is the process of creation, practice, appreciation, critique, perfection and therefore daily growth music where all of these benefits come from. I could perform endlessly in my classroom as my aesthetic argument may persuade, but that doesn't necessarily prepare my students to interact with music, perform it at a high level, and appreciate the community and creation they are apart of. To achieve this my classroom will focus on individual and ensemble performance, music history associated with our repertoire, as well as necessarily theory, aural and piano skills. Through this, I believe that I can prepare my students to engage with music for a lifetime, walking away as life-long learners and better people.
CNafme/CMEA Colorado State Board Instrumental Rep. -2021