Music education to me is a journey of reflection and best practice. I prefer to be more student focused in my teaching; assessing where their strengths and challenges are, and then encouraging and motivating them to succeed. A large component to this paradigm is exposure to a variety of musical experiences, including the fostering of creative music making activities.
In the band world, we spend a great deal of time with re-creation of music; striving towards an excellent performance of someone else’s music. It’s important that young musicians understand that creative expression through music is something that they can do too. Finding experiences that provide students with an arena to flex their creative muscles is just as important to me as providing them with quality literature that feeds their musical journey.
Absolutely inherent in this paradigm is the responsibility of music educators to provide students with positive musical experiences, ones that will shape their perception of the necessity of music in human lives. We’re not only educating future professional musicians, but future consumers of music. I want my students to be able to make intelligent and informed decisions about the kind of music that they buy and support when they are adults.
In addition to being intelligent consumers of music, I want my students to know that music making is a life-long pursuit. We’ve become a much more passive with music in our culture rather than being active music-makers. As a result, the culture seems to view musicing as something that only a select few can or should do rather than a universal human pursuit.
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