Multicultural Music Education

Multicultural Music Education is a topic that I think is overlooked a lot in the classroom setting. It sometimes can be a little controversial but no matter what it should still be taught, Multicultural Music Education is  teaching about other cultures and their history through choice of repertoire chosen for curriculum or performing groups. When Multicultural Music Education is schools, we promote students to be more understanding of geography by having them know about the other countries and what cultures they bring about. As well as giving students the possibility to understand their peers that have a different background or ethnicity than themselves.

From the article, Music Education in a Time of Cultural Transformation by Patricia Shehan Campbell, she talks about how valuable Multicultural Music Education really is for students in the classroom setting. She talks about a general music teacher that covers different countries in her curriculum so that her students can not only know different genres of music but the country’s culture as well. She says, “I consider it my responsibility to expose children to the world of musical possibilities. It fits well with their social studies curriculum, too, because music is a way of knowing culture.”

As a future educator, my philosophy is to mold my children into all-around successful young adults. When exposing children to multiculturalism they learn more than just sitting in a history. In a music setting they learn about the culture in an active way with either their instrument, dance, or with their own voice. When exposing children to such multiculturalism, we make our students more prone to becoming well-oriented and successful young adults.

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Assessment

Assessment plays a large part in being an educator. One must know what to look for when assessing. They must also know when to provide feedback, and what feedback is the most effective for the students. As a future music educator, I think the best way to assess a student is to understand what level they are at when they first walk into a classroom. This gives me an idea of where improvement can be made and how they can develop as more than just a musician but as an individual as well.

Assessment is the word used to sum up the different methods that teachers use to evaluate, and measure the learning process as well as their skill accumulations throughout the school year. There are two different types of assessment, formative and summative. Formative assessment is more monitoring the student as a teacher and providing them with feedback to either applaud, motivate, or to provide constructive criticism on something they can improve on. Summative assessment is less feedback related. It is more related to taking exams or quizzes and the grade is what assesses what that student has learned and how they have applied themselves with the material that was taught. From the article, Rethinking the Roles of Music Education by Sheila J. Scott, she talks about three different types of assessments: assessment for learning, assessment of learning, and assessment as learning. My favorite of the three would be assessment of learning because it is controlled by the students and how their academic levels are assessed based on expected outcomes of the educational experience. The feedback is absorbed and the student determines how they will improve on things from the feedback they receive. This would be considered formative assessment.

As a future educator, I favor formative assessment more than summative because not only do you provide the feedback needed for these children to grow but you are also creating a connection with the student that can be very useful when wanting to motivate a student. From the article, Music Education for Life: Music Assessment Part 1: What and Why, Shuler says something very valuable about assessment. “However, the more important reasons  we  must  assess  are  to  improve our professional effectiveness as teachers, to improve student learning, and to help us advocate for excellent music programs.”

Advocacy

Music is an art that allows someone to explore life through a lens that exudes different types of history, culture, and creativity. Music gives a person the key to unlock doors that are filled with mysteries upon mysteries. To a child, music can be like the previous descriptions but it can also be considered a life jacket. Music also saves young lives from destruction and gives people the idea that music is the reason that they live.

Before I joined the music department in the second grade, I only had a few friends and was known as the girl who was so petite and short. I wanted people to see me for me more than just that. I wanted to seem like I actually had an identity in my school. In my elementary school, children were eligible to join performing groups starting in the second grade. When I joined band and chorus, it was to become popular. The idea of being in a performing arts group made you hip and cool. But as I became older I realized music was the individuality that was always seeking. It gave me a place in school and made me find a place of completion within myself.

The inclusion of the arts in a school setting is very essential to the development of the young mind. It helps develop the mind in a way that allows the child to express themselves and be more creative than they were before. With the basic skills that a child learns in a average classroom setting, the arts enhances those skills one to two steps higher. From the website broaderminded.com it states that, “students develop the ability to consistently refine their thinking as part of the creative process, developing an ability to re-evaluate goals and objectives and, if needed, adjust their approach to the objective.” Having music experience uses the parts of the brain that are correlated with sensory and motor function.Music, to be specific should be taught in schools because it provides students a sense of individuality. Based off of a pin that I found on Pinterest from the University of Florida, it explains that music increases “self-esteem, better attentiveness and perseverance, more enjoyment and creativity, and better study habits.” This pin also includes information that in 2007, school students in top-quality music programs scored 22% higher in English and 20% higher in math than students in deficient music programs. Ridding students of opportunities to gain these skills, I think is unfair. There are abstract students within all school districts and sometimes music or any other art related program is where they feel like they fit in and can grow.

As a future educator, my philosophy is to not only educate my students but to help them grow with the potential that they were born with and turn it into something no one else can say that they have. They can say that they are a solid individual because of the skills music has helped them create and master. They have become successful or on the path of doing so because of the arts in their school district and the teachers that helped motivate them along the way.

Philosophy

As an aspiring music educator, one must have a philosophy on how they will teach, what students will take away from the teachings, and how that will help them grow professionally.

I would like to teach in a high school with intermediate leveled musicians. My goal for them is to grow not only as musicians but to evolve as adults. To have the responsibility to mold the potential that these students already contain into something solid. My high school years had to be the most important years of my life. It taught me how to interact with people professionally, my strengths, my weaknesses, as well as where I stood with my musical talents. My goals for the students that I would teach would be just that. To show them their strengths and weaknesses, and how we can flip it around in a cycle of where what we once struggled with can be mastered while what was already a strength can also take the path of being mastered as well. Music Educators Journal 2003 written by Bennett Reimer tells us, “we tend to regard “being musical” as being a performer, the success one achieves in performance being the single true measure of one’s musical potential.”

My methods for helping my students become the young adults that they need to be is based on the fundamentals of everything a student has learning in the classroom setting. Brass students for example, will understand that we cannot produce a wonderful tone and a strong embouchure unless we practice something we once learned when we were younger, buzzing.They will also understand that perfection does not exist. Only because everyone has their perception of what perfection is. The main purpose of having students think this way is so they understand that there is always room for improvement, even in the things that they do best.

My main goal is to inspire, to mold students into stronger musicians, and to guide them  on the path of becoming young successful adults. Every student is different and unique in their own way. Some are more abstract than others while there are those that develop a lot faster. These are the students and the path I will take with them that will help me grow professionally as a teacher. Sometimes strategies that worked for one student will not work for another or even a method that worked for a whole band will not work for the new one that is to come in the following year. In INTASC Principle II and III, it explains that a teacher must understand how children are diverse and to always guide them to important opportunities for learning, developing different skills, and supporting them for who they are what they can become. Versatility is the key in all of this. I do not think there is a such thing of conquering the skill of being versatile but instead something that one must learn and continue to expand for the rest of their career and life.