My greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is that I am able to understand on a personal level that music and musical talent does not come easily to every child! I understand that everyones’ learning processes look differently, and some components of musical learning may come easier for some students than it does for others. I can use this understanding to create a compassionate and understanding classroom where students feel comfortable trying out skills that may be completely foreign to them, and also feel comfortable achieving musical skills at varying speeds to their peers.
When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I now feel much more confident than I did at the beginning of the semester. Growing up, my musical experience in elementary school was fairly limited to very traditional means, and did not include much for cross-curricular musical projects and integrated lesson plans. These are components that I will be sure to include in my future classroom, as I believe that they are valuable tools for teaching and learning about music.
My greatest area of growth during this course has been in the area of integrated lesson plans and understanding how to bring music into the classroom as a real means of teaching and learning, rather than as a ‘decoration’ for a lesson plan in another subject. Some teachers will simply include a song as a filler into a lesson and claim that to be musical learning, but this does not necessarily constitute musical learning, and integrated lesson plans need to be looked at with a critical eye to ensure that they truly do include the musical learning that they may be claiming.