What Do I Know About Music Education Right Now?

What Do I Know About Music Education Right Now?

I understand that teaching music has a lot of fascists that needs to be tapped into adequately in order to have students learn about music and to see where else principles and skills of music can be applied to other classes as well as other life situations, and things that will arise in a students life. I understand how important the environment is for the student in education. The environment tells the students what to do. How an elementary school learning environment differs from a high school environment in it that the elementary school provides more of an experimental platform for students experiment in and make connections with visual and audible learning rather than a high school setting where they travel from class to class learning fro teachers with a specific knowledge in a subject. I understand that music education is similar to education in general in it that students learn with age and experience best above all other forms of teaching. Music education requires the teacher to be self elevating in the way they teach and demonstrate music concepts to students and to evaluate each student to see their understanding of the material and their strengths and weakness as a student. Music education is building relationships with students as often times music ensembles and classes for several grades for students end up with the same teacher for several marking periods or years. Music education also encourages students to participate in things outside of the class room whether it maybe festivals or other extra circular activities. Music education is also usually is one of the first things to be cut down in budgets when it comes to staff meetings and faculty of the school and the district. It is an uphill battle for music educators to express and explain the relevance and importance of music education to many of those who do not have an understanding of music. Music education also stresses the importance of exposing students to new ideas or new forms of music as to grab their interest in expanding their horizons with musical concepts, styles of music and playing as well as thinking creatively and outside the box which these skills learned in the music classroom can be applied to other classes or situations. Music education teaches students progressive improvement working slowly but surely to reach a goal/accomplishment. It teaches discipline and focus with diligence but also teaches how to be expressive and interpretive of what is to be performed. Music education also teaches students how to work together as an group to make a sound as a full ensemble. Music is many things. A limited thing it is not. 

Joseph Field 5/8/15


Spring 2015

What I know about music education now 

Where we have been (topic wise) throughout the semester: discussion about how to teach, why we teach, challenges of teaching and developing your philosophy of teaching.

We teach to help students explore where their mind takes them. As a blanket statement alone it sounds pretty ambiguous but it really means what it says. As teacher we are basically facilitators and guides for students to grow and become more of a complex individual. Teachers aren’t people who just give information to students to memorize and move on. They help students question and gradually build their thinking to a higher level of complexity in the following way: Accurately described and broken down by Bloom’s. Teachers allow students to progress through the stages of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The challenges in teaching are the following: Pressures of a criteria and curriculum/standards that have to be met by the school, teacher and student as required by the state. Finding what way of teaching is affective for all students as many students learn different ways, i.e visual versus audio able learners. Accessing students in different ways prior and post the course. My philosophy of teaching is to create and generate an analytical minds but not to stunt or counter productively work against a creative mind. This is the essential part of learning. If there is no creativity there is no progress and learning/growth.  

Your short teaching episodes/what it’s like to be on the other side 

The short teaching episode was a lot of fun! There’s a lot that you don’t originally anticipate when you plan a lesson. Lesson plans are half the battle. While they are imperative to how the class runs and how productive the learning process is for the teacher to the student one can never plan for what is actually going to happen during the actual lesson. Half of teaching is improvising within a frame. You don’t know how the students are going to react and you don’t know who’s going to understand what and visa versa. These are all things you have to work with in a time frame of a class period. Often times this is why extra help or private tutor sessions are given. I learned that it’s harder to write and explain things on the board than I originally thought. In your head your entire lesson plan and explanation makes sense to you but that doesn’t mean your logic will be comparable with some one else’s thinking and logical conclusions and connections. It was a great experience though to see what other people come up with when I asked them to write their own limericks. By seeing students works you get a climes into how their mind works. 

What you know about “education’ in general vs. ONLY music education, as this knowledge is going to greatly inform your answer.All this knowledge is relevant to your development as a teacher.

General education usually entails more text books, work books, written tests and sitting in rows and learning. Generally this is for upper division classes and grades in school. Elementary schools typically have students on more hands on activities. It is also important to note that music education teaches skills and lessons that are applicable to other classes and life. It teaches students how to stay on top of their work and how to problem solve. For example being given music and being asked to play it the student is analyzing the music and analyzing their instrument and by combining the two they are applying their knowledge in a relevant and in a timely and real time fashion. General education teaches students how to study and asses their own knowledge and apply it to situations and problems being presented to them. It helps them build the muscles in their brain to memorize and analytically make connections to make deeper connections and deeper understanding. In general education same in music education, teachers typically ask students question to get them thinking so they can arrive at an answer by themselves. By doing this the student will understand the context better and ask even more questions rather than just memorize some information at face value. 

The pedagogues you have become a little more familiar with this term: Ayers, Dewey, Kohn, Schwab, Ken Robinson and names associated with learning theory

Ayers essentially explains that the classroom is the foundation framework in which a student  learns and grows. The classroom is an environment and every environment has ideas or beliefs worked up in them wether they are self consciously placed in there or not. The environment tells the students what to do. 

Campbell discusses how teachers don’t just teach but specifically teach what they were taught. This creates a gap between what we know and want to teach to our students and what we can experiment or observe that is new. Constructivist teachers are trying to break this boundary and wall created in traditional teaching. 


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