My philosophy of education has changed over time and it will continue to change as I grow as a musician and as an educator. The art of Music Composition can be described as the cognitive process of converting emotions, thoughts or ideas into physical sonorities for others to experience. As an educator within this discipline, it is very important to first understand how we feel about ourselves emotionally, mentally, and physically before we begin to instruct students through this process because writing music can be very emotional and therapeutic as an expression of creativity. As an educator of music composition it is our job to expand students aural pallet, encourage students to find their own voice, push students out of their comfort zones to experience new musical opportunities and last to instruct students on the history of creating music in order to push their music into the future. Music composition is different and unique to other subjects because it gives students the ability to express their emotions, thoughts or ideas into music.
I believe that the dynamic of the Students vs Teacher relationship is very integral in regarding teaching music composition. During my time as a graduate student I came across the book A Way of Music Education: Classic Chinese Wisdoms by C. Victor Fung. The author, Dr. Fung, is Professor of Music Education and Director of Center for Music Education Research at the University of South Florida, Tampa. His research emphasizes social psychological aspects, multicultural issues, and international perspectives of music education. This book is Based on Yijing, classic Confucianism, and classic Daoism, A Way of Music Education proposes a philosophy of music education as a trilogy: change, balance, and liberation. Dr. Fung presents an overview of the fundamentals of classic Chinese philosophy and offers their music educational interpretations. I found one chapter very interesting because it discusses the idea of working towards yin and yang in music education. This concept is found within the yijing and is a foundation for both classic Confucianism and Daoism. In music, the author states that they find no major systematic philosophical application in music education and because of this the author has worked to create a yin and yang of music educational experience. The practice of music education includes the subject of music, the teacher, learner and the interaction between them. As an educator I am contently working on developing the Teacher vs. Student relationship which I see as a yin and yang relationship. The teacher gives the student information to learn as well as the student give the teacher information to learn. In my opening paragraph I stated that I will continue to change as I grow as a musician and as an educator, learning from my students is a part of that process.
I am also devoted in to make a curriculum that encourages expressive learning for each student. I am committed to provide a musical experience that helps develop student’s musicianship, intellect, emotion towards music, in a manner appropriate for their age. Students have a want and need for learning. They crave new information to help them grow and develop their musical ideas. I feel that music educators need to know what their students like and should know how to use this information in their lessons they teach. For example, having the students fill out a survey at the beginning of each semester that collects information regarding their personal goals for the semester, what music they are listening to, and what topics they wish to learn more about. This can add new topics to the curriculum and the students can feel a part of the development of their own education. This survey will not only help the teacher identify the student’s interest but will also show where the where the holes that can be fill in by the music educator. The author, Dr. Fung quotes Confucius who says” for those who understand change, they should also understand the mystical way. The idea of change is in concurrence with music making and music education. One side we see the parameters of making music, (pitch, tonality, rhythmic structure, timbre, and dynamics,). On the other, parameters of music education (developmental appropriateness, roles of the teacher and student, and evaluation) can be changed instantly. As a teacher we are charged with the responsibility to give the knowledge of the past to students who are living in present and who will be leading the future. In my opinion, the fundamental objective of teaching is to show students what change is. As music educators we groom students to identify the changes in the sounds we produce. For example, students who can identify the change from a major to and minor triad are proving they understand what changed within the chords. There are numerous examples of how we can relate change to music composition, it is important to make an effort to establish those changes are and how they can benefit our students to the most successful version of them self they can be.
In conclusion, my Philosophy includes that music educators need to have a passion for music, they need to love what they do, and therefore they can plant the seed of the love of music in their students. As an educator of music composition we must expand our students aural pallet, encourage students to find their own voice, push students out of their comfort zones to experience new musical opportunities and last to instruct students on the history of creating music in order to push their music into the future. Music composition is different and unique to other subjects because it gives students the ability to express their emotions, thoughts or ideas into music. Next the dynamic of the Students vs Teacher relationship is very important regarding teaching music composition. Within this yin and yang relationship, the teacher gives the student information as well as the student give the teacher information learning from my students is my favorite a part of my process. Along with the relationship, the curriculum is equally importation. Music educators need to include the interest the students within the curriculum in some way. These topics can be added to the curriculum to keep the interest of the student and also create a diversified environment full of fun and unique topics. I believe that the students that we teach today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and it is up to us and music educators to guide them and show them the ways and traditions of music and how to keep it alive for forever.