Why Are You a Music Teacher?
Why Do You Teach Music? What First Inspired You to Become A Music Teacher?
First, what is your music education philosophy?
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Second, does your philosophy include authentic, holistic, and inferential music learning?
What Is Your Music Education Philosophy?
Whether Or Not You Thought It Out, You ARE Living It!
Have you formed your own philosophy of music teaching? Whether or not you have thought about it, consciously or subconsciously, you ARE teaching your philosophy. It directs your every move, thought, motivation, and teacher competency. It also greatly affects the music outcome of every one of your students. Even when you have not consciously formed your own philosophy, ask anyone around you and they will clearly describe your's to you.
Go back to your basics. Something aesthetically inspired you to be drawn to teaching music. What was it? Is it part of your philosophy? Do you teach your students so they too may experience an aesthetic event? Are the following basic elements in your music education philosophy?
- WHY: Aesthetic vs. Utilitarian: Are you teaching music because it is its own art form, or because it can be used to learn other subjects? Which do you use to justify to school board members, administrators, and parents why music should be taught in school?
- WHO: Music for Everyone: Do you believe that ALL students have music potential (aptitude), and can achieve any goal in music they please when shown how? Or do you believe "some have talent and some don't"--the Have's and the Have-not's?
- HOW: Active Participation: Do you "talk about" music in your classes, or do you "do" music? Do you teach music information, or do you enact music skill transformation? Do you develop every student's achievement level within his/her music aptitude?
- WHEN: Every Grade K-12: Do you believe that music is for every grade, including birth through preschool?
- WHAT: Do you plan lessons and teach with Behavioral Objectives (Enabling Behaviors), Materials, Procedures and Activities, Corrective / Extension Activities, and Assessments? Are your Procedures and Activities, across any length of time, balanced with all music concepts (rhythm, meter, tonal, melody, harmony, texture, dynamics, tempo, articulation, expression, form, style, etc.) and all active participations (listening, chanting, singing, moving, playing, performing, improvising, creating, composing, reading, notating, describing, evaluating, etc.)?
Your philosophy will shape the vision and focus of your entire music education teaching career and whether or not you will produce successful music students. Your philosophy is your "belief system" that you have about your students and operate over them. You should be able to perceive my philosophy of music education as you peruse this website. See also my Music Education Philosophy.
Are You Teaching Authentic, Holistic, Inferential Music Learning?
Why ARE You Teaching?
- AUTHENTIC: At its simplest level, Authentic, in education, may be defined as "real life skills in real life circumstances." Do you provide your students with opportunities to perform and appreciate all kinds of music from all global cultures? Do you make it as real life as possible?
- HOLISTIC: Holistic considers "the whole person in a whole manner." Can your students demonstrate an integrated and natural feel for music expression with their bodies as well-tuned musical instruments?
- INFERENTIAL: Inferential is the realm of "analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing," the three upper learning levels of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy of the Cognitive. Have your students passed learning basic music skills (discrimination learning) and progressed into music's inferential levels?
Authentic, Holistic, and Inferential should define your music teaching purposes and ultimate goal of music education, as well as any and all education. In music, this translates into improvising, composing, arranging, manipulating, creating, and composing. So let's reword the question Why Are You Teaching? into, "Are you teaching your students music knowledge, music skills, and music expression in simulated or real-life circumstances to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize to a high level of expertise?" If not, for what other reason are you teaching? If you students don't end up knowing how to perform music, enjoy to its fullest, create using all their perfected skills, and enter into its artistry, then why are you teaching? Music is a "doing" art!
There is much more to the Authentic, Holistic, and Inferential realm of music teaching and how to perfect it, than the above short introduction. Click Why Are You Teaching? for more indepth information.
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