My Philosophy of Music Education
I believe that music is an important part of every person’s life; I have yet to meet a person that has not enjoyed music. With this thought in mind, I believe that music is not only enjoyed, but a major part of our academic and social lives. Music makes connections with many of the core subjects that students need to learn. There are connections in math, like when students transpose or need to count in mixed meters. The large repertoire of music used in instrumental and choral ensembles provides great connections with history. Even the terminology provides connections to the language arts, especially in foreign languages such as Italian, German, and French. Because music requires knowledge in all these areas, as well as the use of the left and right brain at the same time, the academic achievements of students that study music can be more numerous than those who do not.
These academic connections are wonderful, but the emotional connections are what really keep people interested in music. As Daniel Levitin has shown, people are able to find joy and comfort in music. When people play music or dance in groups their brains become synchronized because of the rhythms and the movements. Not only do these emotions and connections help people, but the social aspect of music helps people as well. Performing in ensembles can create bonds with students similar to those of athletes on a team. It also provides an after school activity that keeps students out of trouble and it continually challenges their brains. There is also a great amount of discipline involved in music, because students need to spend a certain amount of time each week practicing in order to improve. This is similar to students doing homework each night for their core classes. With this discipline comes perseverance because practicing can become frustrating and monotonous for students. Even with the frustrations, the practicing pays off, and students will be able to see this in their performances with their peers.
With all of this in mind, I will be making connections to most (if not all) subjects in my teaching so that students can use these connections to help them with their other subjects. My goal is to not only teach them the discipline and the academic relationships to music but also the enjoyment of music through the emotional connections that they form with music.