My Teaching Philosophy
As an educator, I believe that it is my responsibility to instill in my students the importance of developing solid intellectual habits of self-reflection, critical thinking, intrinsic motivation, and individuality. Because I teach young children, I challenge myself to find ways to teach the most basic components of each of those skills one at a time through the joy of music. I approach every encounter I have with my students as a teachable moment—a chance to nurture, inspire, and assess. Recognizing that every student is in a different place academically, I strive to meet each student where they are and bring him or her to where they need to be during the course of our time together. I do this by utilizing many different methods and techniques of elementary music education including, but not limited to, the Orff-Schulwerk Approach, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and the Kodaly method. We move, we play, we sing, we create, and we discover together. My classroom is a safe haven for making hands-on connections and taking risks. Students are encouraged to share their unique ideas and push their own boundaries. They focus on improving their own set of music skills instead of competing against one another to see who is better. This fosters a positive environment of teamwork (rather than competition) so that each child’s strength can be challenged to new heights while their area of weakness is acknowledged with continued practice and differentiated instruction. I want every single child to want to participate in all aspects of music class, so I constantly remind them that everyone has something to offer whether it is a beautiful singing voice or a wonderful sense of steady beat. It is also important to me that my students look forward to learning new things instead of fearing the unknown, so every child’s new success is celebrated no matter how large or small it may be.
Music is not an elite skill for the chosen few to master. Music belongs to everyone. I teach music so that my students will become more human… so that they will recognize beauty… so that they will have something to calm them in the night and greet them in the morning… so that they will have something to aide them in their rejoicing, grieving, and most importantly in their living. I teach music because I hope that music will do for them what it did for me.