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Music Teaching Philosophy

I teach music because I love music. I love to listen to many different styles of music and appreciate the life experiences that inspired the creation of and elements within that music. I love to participate in the act of making music, alone and with others. I believe that the act of making music with others connects one to those others in a way that nothing else allows. It allows the expression of common emotion and life-experiences. It’s a passion and connectedness that I wish to share with my students by teaching them how they can participate, appreciate and connect in similar ways.
In my classroom, students are exposed to music styles both old and new. Classical, World Music (music from many countries around the world), American Blues, American Jazz, and the entire spectrum of music included under the term Rock are introduced with samples of each played and explored. We listen to the music, we watch it being played courtesy of YouTube on the Smart-board in my classroom, and we talk about the performers and elements that make that music what it is.
We also make music together. Students are taught introductory music-reading skills, skills on the piano-keyboard, and soon they will be using acoustic guitars and iPads as well. Some students progress faster than others but all students participate and succeed at their own pace. This is because they are taught one more thing in my classroom: respect.
Before anything else is presented in my classroom, students are made to understand the importance of mutual respect. I believe that everyone is capable of learning. It is my job as an educator to provide the opportunity for that learning to occur. Students need to have a sense that they will be accepted despite imperfection. I practice respect openly with my students, even pointing this out to them when necessary. Students know that it is ok to make mistakes and then try again, thus practicing to get better. They know that they will not be mocked or embarrassed by either the teacher or other students in the room, because mistakes are valued as a learning tool.
Music continues to change and new music is constantly being added to the world, I, too, hope to continue to grow as a teacher and add new materials, tools and strategies to my music classroom.

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