Reflections #9, 10, & 11: My Professional Growth in Music Education

Hello dear followers,

Today I’m going to reflect on how my music education class has shaped me and what resources and strengths and weaknesses I will have as an educator teaching music.

Reflection question #9: My greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is … I can use this strength to…

I think my greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is a tie between my musical background and skills, and the musical community I am connected to. I can use the strength of my musical background and skills to teach using the personal experiences I have had learning new instruments to make learning a new instrument the most successful experience for students as possible. I can also use this strength of having a deep understanding of musical concepts to learn new instruments or develop skills in instruments I already know how to play myself that I may ask students to play one day. For example, I know that I can sing on-key, but with the skills and knowledge of music I have I know I could refine my singing abilities and learn more about the techniques around using one’s voice to pass this knowledge on to students. I know that I would definitely need some outside help for this, which is what leads me to discuss the strength I have is having a large musical community around me. My immediate family is very musical, and also has a lot of connections with musical people from the different social circles they move through. My extended families are also quite musically talented, and my uncle sells guitars and guitar equipment as a job, so he has a ton of experience and also many resources or connections he could get me in touch with. I also have friends in the music department here at the university, from the one music class I took here last year, from my high school band class, and possibly even through my former piano teacher. These connections will be a strength in my future practice as an educator teaching music because the people in this community may be able to answer any questions I have about teaching music and/or connect me to different resources for teaching.

Reflection question #10: When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I…

….get excited! I love both listening to and playing a range of different types and genres of music, and I look forward to sharing my passion and knowledge of music with students. I feel that learning how to read, play and appreciate music is a very important life-long skill, and I think it is sad when children miss out on the opportunity to learn it. My dream is to take a music program to a school that doesn’t yet have a music program, and build it from the ground-up (in due time, of course).

Reflection question #11: My greatest area of growth during the year/course has been in the area of…

…realizing the benefit of using ‘silly songs’ and body percussion to teach about different music skills. At the beginning of this semester, I was very skeptical of the songs we learned that had nonsense words or didn’t seem relevant to what Canadian students would experience. However, now I realize that these ‘silly songs’ can be used to teach about rhythm, body percussion, pitch, rounds, just to name a few, and also engage students with the topic of the day in a fun way. I may even now use a “silly song” or camp song during my first practicum!

I’m grateful for the opportunity to take a music education course this year, and look forward to learning more ways to teach music in the future, especially as I head into my first practicum!

~Bethany

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