Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Force of Change

While recently going through some old files, I came across my philosophy of education paper that I wrote for my Intro to Music Education class my sophomore year of college. I had it all it that paper, quotes from the Music Education giants Carl Orff, my man Zolton Kodáy, and Edwin Gordon, Arthur Holmes because I went to OBU and I thought that is what I was supposed to do, and all of the big words. I made an A on that paper, and I’m sure sophomore MegLo was thrilled by that grade, but semi-adult Meghan has to laugh. Do I still believe in every word I wrote? Yes. Do I think that my personal philosophy of Music Education has changed? Yes.

While the words of Orff, Gordon, and Kodály are important, but what I found is that my view and my role has the educator has changed. I had no idea at the age of 20 when I wrote that paper what I was going to encounter in the classroom. After five years in the classroom, I still think of myself as a baby teacher, and I have no clue what I’m doing. The reality is a finally found what works for me. My philosophy is simple; I don’t need the fancy words of Carl Orff, Edwin Gordon, or even Zolton Kodáy to determine how I view education. What I need is my words, my thoughts, because, after all, it is my story. My story, my journey to share with the world. My philosophy is deeply rooted in my why. Why do I teach? Because every child deserves the privilege to sing. My philosophy is simply this: Music Education should be a force for change in this world, and it is my job to bring about that change.

We live in a world that is driven by instant gratification. We want it done quickly, and we want results now. We stop to realize the beauty of the world. We stop to realize the beauty of sound, the beauty of silence. We lose that sense of wonder. We have to have a force of change to experience this beauty; it is my job to help my students discover that feeling again.

We live in a digital age, and while I love technology and what it has done for education, sometimes are just too dependent on it. Kids need to play without a screen, kids to experience and feel the music they are making. Kids need to know just exactly how powerful their voice can be. We will need a break from the screens sometimes. For some of my EdTech friends, please don’t take what I have to say to offensively, but sometimes our students are too tech driven. They need a break; they need to experience the world without their devices if only for an hour or two. Technology has its place in the choir, but choir and music are experiences. They need those experiences.

Music causes us to pause and reflect. It is my job to teach my students what to do with those pauses and what to do with those reflections.

What is your philosophy? Your journey? Your story?

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