Philosophy of Education Jeremi Edwards

My educational philosophy has evolved and will continue to evolve as I advance as a musician and educator. Music composition, as an art form, involves the cognitive process of translating emotions, thoughts, or ideas into tangible sonic expressions for others to experience. As an educator in this discipline, it is crucial to begin by cultivating self-awareness, considering our emotional, mental, and physical states. This introspection is vital because the act of composing music is often a deeply emotional and therapeutic expression of creativity.

As music composition educators, it is our responsibility to expand students' auditory horizons, empower them to discover their unique artistic voice, challenge them to step outside their comfort zones and embrace new musical opportunities. Furthermore, we should provide instruction on the rich history of music creation, enabling students to build upon that foundation and propel their own music forward into the future.Music composition sets itself apart from other subjects as it grants students the extraordinary ability to convey their emotions, thoughts, or ideas through music. This artistic medium allows for a profound and personal form of expression, fostering creativity and individuality.

The relationship between students and teachers plays a vital role in the context of music composition education. During my graduate studies, I came across the book "A Way of Music Education: Classic Chinese Wisdoms" by C. Victor Fung, a distinguished scholar in the field. Dr. Fung, a Professor of Music Education and Director of the Center for Music Education Research at the University of South Florida, Tampa, focuses his research on social psychological aspects, multicultural issues, and international perspectives in music education.

In his book, Dr. Fung presents a philosophy of music education based on the principles of change, balance, and liberation, drawing from classic Chinese philosophy such as Yijing, Confucianism, and Daoism. One particular chapter caught my attention, as it explores the concept of working towards yin and yang in music education. This concept, rooted in the Yijing and foundational to Confucianism and Daoism, highlights the dynamic interplay between contrasting elements. While the field of music education lacks a comprehensive philosophical application of this concept, Dr. Fung endeavors to create a yin and yang experience within music education.

Within the practice of music education, the teacher-student relationship holds immense significance. As an educator, I constantly strive to cultivate and develop this relationship, perceiving it as a yin and yang dynamic. In this context, both the teacher and the student mutually contribute to the learning experience. The teacher imparts knowledge and guidance, while the student offers insights and perspectives. Recognizing that my growth as a musician and educator is an ongoing process, I firmly believe that learning from my students is an integral part of my personal and professional development.

Regenerate response

I am deeply committed to developing a curriculum that fosters expressive learning for each individual student. My goal is to provide a musical experience that nurtures their musicianship, intellectual growth, and emotional connection to music, all tailored to their age and developmental stage. I firmly believe that students have an inherent desire and need to learn. They yearn for new knowledge to aid their growth and enhance their musical ideas. As music educators, it is crucial for us to understand our students' preferences and utilize this information effectively in our lessons.

For instance, at the beginning of each semester, I propose having students complete a survey that captures their personal goals, musical interests, and desired areas of exploration. This survey not only empowers students by involving them in shaping their own education, but it also enables the teacher to identify their interests and identify potential gaps in their musical knowledge. By incorporating this valuable input, we can enrich the curriculum and provide a more personalized learning experience.

In his book, Dr. Fung references a quote from Confucius, who states that those who comprehend change also understand the mystical way. This idea of change resonates deeply with music-making and music education. On one hand, we have the parameters of creating music, such as pitch, tonality, rhythmic structure, timbre, and dynamics. On the other hand, the parameters of music education, including developmental appropriateness, the roles of the teacher and student, and evaluation, can be altered instantaneously. As teachers, it is our responsibility to impart knowledge from the past to students who live in the present and will shape the future.

In my view, the fundamental objective of teaching is to demonstrate to students what change truly means. As music educators, we guide students in recognizing the changes within the sounds they produce. For example, when students can identify the transition from a major to a minor triad, they demonstrate an understanding of the underlying changes within the chords. There are numerous examples of how we can relate the concept of change to music composition. It is crucial for us to make a conscious effort to highlight and explore these changes, as they can greatly benefit our students in their journey towards becoming the best version of themselves musically.

In conclusion, my philosophy as a music educator emphasizes the importance of having a genuine passion for music. It is this passion that allows us to inspire and instill a love for music in our students. As educators of music composition, we have a responsibility to broaden our students' musical horizons, encourage them to discover their own unique voices, challenge them to explore new musical opportunities outside of their comfort zones, and provide them with a solid understanding of the history of music creation to propel their own musical endeavors into the future.

Music composition stands apart from other subjects because it empowers students to express their emotions, thoughts, and ideas through music. The dynamic between students and teachers is crucial in the context of teaching music composition. In this yin and yang relationship, teachers impart knowledge and guidance to students, while students also contribute valuable insights and perspectives, which I find to be an enriching part of my own learning process.

Furthermore, a well-crafted and inclusive curriculum is vital. Music educators should incorporate students' interests into the curriculum to maintain their engagement and create a diverse and enjoyable learning environment. By integrating topics that resonate with students, we can ensure their continued interest and foster their enthusiasm for music.

I firmly believe that the students we educate today will be the leaders of tomorrow. It is our responsibility, as music educators, to guide and mentor them, imparting the traditions and values of music, and ensuring its perpetual presence in their lives. By nurturing their musical abilities and igniting their passion for music, we contribute to the ongoing preservation and perpetuation of this art form for generations to come.