Philosophy of Music Education
“Whenever and wherever humans have existed music has existed also.” - Bennett Reimer
From the beginning of history, music has played a major role in the lives of people throughout the world. Music has been part of many of life’s events including celebrations, festivals, grand ceremonies, weddings, funerals, religious services, and part of our daily and ordinary activities. Music is present in both times of joy and sorrow. Music in its many settings ranges from the most simplistic sounds made by one person to complex sonorities employing numerous instrumentalists. Music is an aural art form that reflects diverse cultural and subcultural interests and beliefs. The spirit and heritage of all cultures may be expressed through music.
Music is vital in the development of a well-rounded individual. Research studies in music have shown that there are many advantages of music education in and out of the classroom. Those advantages include, but are not limited to:
Creative Thinking and Problem Skills
Higher Scores on Standardized Tests
Appreciation for Different Cultures
Enhancing of Team Work
Encouragement of Creativity
Taking Risks Without Being Judged
Life-Long Skills for Employability
Sense of Belonging
Bennett Reimer states “music education exists first and foremost to develop every person's natural responsiveness to the power and the art of music.” All students should be allowed the privilege of music education. Music should know no boundaries; it should be available to all regardless of any sociological or psychological factors. It is a rewarding subject that enriches the lives of those who study it. Music education should be part of all grade levels kindergarten through twelfth grade. The study of music should not be limited to only the performance of the art form, but also to the study of music literacy, which leads to performance. A comprehensive program should include listening, creativity, historical and cultural connections, music literacy, and performance.
Teachers, instructors, and professors of music should be well equipped with the fundamental foundations of music education and understand its role and purpose in American education. Further, educators of this art form should be well-trained musicians and should have hands-on experience as part of their training; their learning too must be lifelong. Educators of music should have their own teaching philosophy that supports music being an aesthetic experience. Educators should do all in their power to help all members of the community, be it local, state, and national level, understand the importance of music in the lives of the people of the world.
Philosophy of Teaching Statement
A conductor is first and foremost a teacher. Teaching is an art and a calling. We must acknowledge that conducting is a privilege; the singers make up your instrument and they need to be revered, nurtured, and maintained as such. Excellent teaching relies equally upon knowledge and an enthusiastic, communicative, and inspiring personality.
Knowledge is acquired through diligence and hard work. We must know our subject thoroughly and possess the ability to teach it in a manner that is easily understood. We need to have a pedagogical plan of which presents concepts in a reasonable order. The conductor who teaches his choir concepts teaches his choir to think for themselves and solve problems.
Knowledge and skill are of little use without an inspiring personality that others are drawn towards. The music requires conductors to possess qualities of an inspiring personality, which includes (1) a genuinely positive and energetic rapport that is encouraging, motivational and supportive; (2) a genuine love for people and music; (3) a genuine satisfaction in working hard; (4) a genuine thirst for more knowledge and the pursuit of excellence; (5) genuinely professional behavior and appearance.
The strength and success of a choral program is the direct result of (1) recruiting and retaining excellent singers; (2) teaching excellence in singing; (3) finding excellent repertoire that the choir can perform excellently; (4) oversee and demand organizational and disciplinary excellence; (5) plan and prepare diverse, creative, innovative, and excellent programs; (6) embody, teach, and inspire excellence.
As a choral conductor one assumes the role of a servant, teacher, leader, student, and recruiter simultaneously.
As a servant, I am responsible for serving the composer and the score through integrity, knowledge, and preparation. I am committed to quality and musical excellence in all my work. I serve the student by teaching, inspiring, and conducting in a manner that promotes artistry. I serve the audience by presenting varied programs that are accessible, interesting, and stimulating to both the amateur and the professional.
As a teacher, my primary job is to ensure the use of the appropriate and safe vocal technique in the correct manner and style of the music. It is my responsibility to teach comprehensive musicianship, first by teaching students to think critically and then by make connects to music history, music theory, and the knowledge gained in the private studio. In addition, I must run a rehearsal that is based on preparation, listening, analysis and solution of problems, and at the same time motivates, inspires, challenges, and rewards students.
As a leader, I must assume the role of a mentor and role model in the manner that I prepare, communicate, teach, rehearse, and conduct in a performance. I must instill in my students the need to be both servant, teacher, student, and recruiter.
As a student, I am committed to lifelong learning through reading, research, and performance. I think it is vital that professional musicians are members of music organizations and attend both local, state, and national conferences.
As a recruiter, I am charged with the task of motivating interest in new singers and engaging the community.
Music Advocacy Links
Why Music Education Is Important
Benefits of Music
Music Advocacy for Parents