I have been blessed with many excellent music teachers. Their enthusiasm for my musical learning inspired me to be become a music teacher myself. Music covers multiple intelligences to include all students in learning. The lessons of discipline, history, and culture learned in the music classroom make it a vital addition to every student's learning. Most of all, studying the arts help students develop the skills of expression, which can be applied to reading, writing, and other core subjects.
To accomplish this, my curriculum will be broken into thematic units, each covering different aspects of music. Examples of units include rhythm, melody, cultural music, movement, and music theory. While not every student will grow up to be a professional musician, I feel it is important to learn the basics of music notation to aid in the other learning goals in music class. If the district provides a standard list of goals, they will be used as a basis for curriculum. Topics from individual classrooms are welcome. As much as possible, all grades will follow the same general topic, however each class will have a lesson with concepts tailored to their cognitive, social, and technical levels.
All students must be engaged in learning and music making, no matter their technical skill level. While we will strive for excellence in all we do, the total musical experience will always take priority over technical perfection. It is my goal to create an environment where music enhances both learning and quality of life for all students.
Assessment can be a difficult task in music education. However with swift pacing and participation, every performance can be evaluated. Students do not necessarily need to perform individually to receive feedback, but can be observed in small group situations where they are more comfortable. Assessment is most important for teacher reflection. With this information, I can adjust my lessons as needed to achieve curricular goals.
I like to work with other teachers in the school to integrate classroom management techniques that may be different from my own in order to create a sense of continuity between the students' homeroom and my class. Recently, I worked in a school where BIST was implemented very effectively. I find the "Safe Seat" in particular to be effective in a classroom where the students know not to pay attention to the student in the Safe Seat. I like that the student is able to stay in the classroom, still receiving information, and able to reintegrate into the classroom when they are ready. It is also a useful tool for students with behavioral disorders, which avoids large-scale classroom incidents. All students, whenever possible, will also receive praise reports. These notes go home to parents to give positive feedback about their child's development and music experience.
Though music may sometimes be considered a "special" or auxiliary class by some, I strive to integrate as many aspects of the school into my classroom as I can. I see myself as an essential member of the staff, working toward the same academic and community goals as the rest of the school. By employing a multi-faceted, experienced based music education, I believe that together we can build a community of expression and cooperation.