Music Education The best teachers in this world ask just the right questions Im convinced. I look at my past experience with teachers. The ones that stick out in my mind as facilitating the most amount of growth in the students have been able to get responses from them by asking direct questions that spark the students own personal creative thinking. The teachers have presented themselves (their material, their presence, their goals, their very nature, etc.) in a way that strikes the students as being unique and that this teacher has something of value to offer. The student sees this leading quality and either subconsciously or consciously asks themself how am I going to get that stuff that teacher has?.
The student ends up being curious and wants to learn, and wants to learn for themself. This also benefits the whole area of discipline. Since the students have developed a respect for what that teacher has to offer, than they do not think or even want to be disruptive. Of course, theres always that special one in the crowd that has so much baggage their tendency to misbehave is not stopped by this one amazing teacher, but its stunted nonetheless. Thought-provoking questions in an atmosphere that promotes risk the best to stimulate critical thinking. The teacher has this responsibility to share the process of critical thinking in order to provide that safe atmosphere where ideas are appreciated and warmly accepted.
Listening in conjunction with questioning and classroom dialogues promotes thinking about music. The combination of lecturing accompanied by dialogue of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of content enhances learning. I think that a good music teacher will create and maintain a positive and comfortable atmosphere where students can dialogue advances discovery and critical thinking. It is important for teachers to have that sensitivity towards the students where they can feel comfortable taking risks. Teachers can use small groups as a way to give a greater number of students a freer feeling to talk about music.
This kind of classroom interaction lends itself to a meaningful self-evaluation where one can seek to improve in their weakness. The students may feel a nudge to improve up to their friends ability. Or the students may find how different people offer different views to music, and that in itself can be an inspiration to seek out more perspectives or to grow more personally with their music. I feel like talking about conducting right now because this is going to become a huge part of music teaching when I Actually get there. There are many incredible conductors out there.
Some of their qualities are so impressive. Some characteristics of a good conductor are having clear definite down beats, they are commanding in their leadership role and have the players attention completely. They should be able to express the meaning or atmosphere of the music through their gesture. They should be able to pick out the different parts of the music because they know the instrumentation and score well. They should know the history and context of the music so that it is presented in the manner the composer intended. The technique of their arm movements should be well-trained, and with the ensemble they should be motivating, encouraging, and inspiring. To obtain a certain quality of conducting requires a great deal of skill.
Practicing conducting like any instrument, or any sport or art for that matter, is required in order to reach that high state of excellence. I as a trombone player practice a substantial amount to achieve a superior level of playing. Conducting is no different. It too requires a lot of practice. The conductor, however, works on conveying an inspiration of what the music is intended to sound like by the composer.
The conducting teacher relates the composers inspiration, the historical background, listens for parts that require modification, helps the students become self-aware of where improvement should take place, keeps a focus with clear goals in mind, creates a positive learning atmosphere, etc with the help of all the practicing they did before class time. Its a loaded job. J Right now I am finding a great value in mission statements. Mission statements made byt he music teacher for each individual class and ensemble. It keeps them focused on something.
The mission statement gives the group a forward motion, that they are going to attain something by the end of the year. It also helps everyone feel like they are in the process of accomplishing something on a large scale and a sense of pride comes along with that. Music.