Philosophy Statement: Music Education

"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."
~Leonard Bernstein

"The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another... and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world."
~Leonard Bernstein


How can one define music education? My current attempt at a definition goes something like this:
Music Education: The teaching of an art form that is aural in nature and is a means of representation, communication, and expression of the human condition.

In the process of considering my own beliefs and values regarding the teaching of music, as well as my experiences in undergraduate classes, student teaching, and substitute teaching, I have determined that there are currently 4 Pillars, or 4 main ideasthat are central to my overall philosophy of music and education.

Pillar 1: All students can learn and succeed.
-Everyone has some level of music aptitude, or potential.
-As music educators, our calling is to be as creative and tireless as possible in helping develop our students' musical aptitudes using principles of learning (going from the known to the unknown, simple to complex, whole to parts back to the whole, dovetailing/scaffolding, etc.) that will set them up to be successful.

Pillar 2: Every individual learns in a unique way and has unique needs and abilities.
-We must teach to the diverse needs and abilities of each student. This also means providing instruction through the combination of aural, visual, and kinesthetic learning modalities.

Pillar 3: Learning and musical growth are both life-long journeys.
-As music educators, it is our responsibility to instill in our students a love of learning and a desire to continue growing as well as never settling for less than your best-- meaning we need to set high standards.

-We also need to work towards developing the necessary skills and provide enriching experiences to help our students become independent consumers of music and all the arts.

-A well-rounded/diverse approach to music and the arts provides a springboard for further exploration of students' wide range of interests and preferences.

Pillar 4: A music education enriches, educates, and develops the "whole child".

M- Motivates us to always strive for excellence
U- Utilizes both right and left brain functions
S- Surrounds us in today's society
I- Invites us to express what words cannot.
C- Calls each individual to be the best person they can be.