Printer Friendly

Professional certification: what is your teaching philosophy?

This is the first of a two-part series. The second part will be presented in the December/January AMT.

Our teaching philosophies identify our approaches, goals and motivation for doing what we do. We are all in the business of nurturing. Teaching music is very personal, individual and complex, but it is often more difficult to define than its counterpart--learning. A philosophy statement is the first required element in the MTNA Professional Certification Program final comprehensive examination and in the portfolio.

With the hope of having every teacher develop a teaching philosophy statement to fit their unique aims and abilities, the National Certification Commissioners have agreed to share their own teaching philosophies.

--Deborah Wallace, NCTM, Northwest Division Commissioner

As a nationally certified piano instructor, it is my responsibility to encourage, guide, and develop the musical potential of each and every one of my students, to the best of my ability. I believe each and every piano student should get as broad-based a musical education in as fun-loving an environment as I can possibly create. I want my students to learn not only to play piano literature, but to also be well-versed in score reading, rhythmic reading, theoretical and technical understanding, ear training, improvising and transposing. I want to help my students become responsible, disciplined, independently practice-oriented, and appreciative of the value of hard work. I try to instill, in my students, the belief that music sharing is essential for a lifetime of creativity and pleasure. I try to uphold and to pass along these goals through my own continued studies, performances, and involvement in professional activities. I pledge to attempt to make music study an enjoyable, educational, on-going, lifelong experience for all of my students.

--Karen Taddie, NCTM, Eastern Division

I try to share with my students my love of life, learning and music in hopes they will also develop a love of the music they study and perform. Hopefully, the experiences they have working towards musical literacy in piano performance will provide a foundation for a lifetime of musical enjoyment. Yet at the same time, I want them to enjoy the process of learning to play the piano. As a teacher, I try to provide a well-rounded musical experience with many opportunities for my students. My teaching philosophy is based on the following concepts:

* Nearly every individual has a desire to improve his knowledge and abilities.

* We seldom achieve excellence unless we are expected to excel.

* Goals must be within the realm of one's developmental abilities, yet often students are able to accomplish much more than might be expected.

* Every individual has his own learning process.

* Regardless of my best efforts, almost every student has a phase when he or she wants to ease off on practicing or quit lessons.

* There is much that can be done to make learning fun, but the bottom line is: if you're going to be a good piano player, you're going to have to work.

* Almost every child will do for the teacher what he may refuse to do for a parent.

* My favorite guide in teaching is to ask, "What is best for the student?"

* Ideally, music study should begin early, before a child is 7.

* Just because you're older than 10 years doesn't mean you're too old!

* Finally, the piano was created for pleasure, not torture!

--Debra Hadfield, NCTM, South Central Division

Every student should learn to enjoy music for his immediate and future benefit. Each student, commensurate with his ability, is assisted in meeting his aesthetic needs by developing 1) independent musicianship through active participation in comprehensive music experiences at all stages of development; and, 2) the ability to respond with discrimination to the aesthetic expressiveness and moral value of music. The level of achievement a student finally possesses directly reflects the quality of the music he has heard and the possible patterns of response he has learned.

To achieve these ends, learning is student-centered in an enthusiastic and highly motivating learning environment. Teaching choices are made in the best interest of the student's musical development which includes appreciation, understanding, knowledge, listening and performance skills, attitudes and habits. Music exists only in sound; hence, music must be perceived and made meaningful through aural perception. Music education is primarily aesthetic education; therefore, primary attention is focused upon developing the student's abilities to perceive musical meaning through perception. The learning process is a problem-centered orientation in which the student gradually apprehends, clarifies and applies musical meaning, since without meaning there is no learning. Specific objectives are organized according to the spiral curriculum method, whereby the student moves from the known to the unknown, from the easy to the difficult and from the real to the symbolic.

Lessons include both perceptual problems and musical experiences. As perception deepens, enjoyment deepens. As the student feels the power of music, his ability and desire to perceive increase. Thinking and feeling become inseparable as both are exercised in the experience of music."

--Diana A. Pettit, NCTM, Southern Division

It is the belief of this academy that music is for everyone and in general, people have a desire to make music. We believe in the unlimited potential of all students. It is the purpose of this academy to provide a nurturing environment necessary to encourage and develop critical and creative thinking skills. It will be the goal of this academy:

* To enable all to discover the power of music as an extraordinary tool for creative personal expression

* To share the joy of making music together

* To develop the necessary skills for musical independence and enjoyment

We plan to provide an interesting space and use of technology to stimulate the mind; to provide a safe place where all ideas are valid and valued; to plan and prepare team building participation in music-making experiences."

--Lucinda Lear, NCTM, West Central Division

My goal as a music teacher is to prepare my students to understand music and to skillfully play the piano so they can enjoy music for the rest of their lives. I try to help my students internalize music concepts and think on their own. I trust that every student wants to learn, is capable of understanding complex concepts, and can learn to solve problems in their practice.

Music touches the emotions. It makes us more fully human. I believe that self-expression is a goal of every student, and I encourage the student to think creatively and artistically. My approach to teaching focuses on understanding music concepts and their expressiveness. My teaching is characterized by exploration and discovery, tolerance for mistakes and trying several solutions.

I embrace a comprehensive curriculum that prepares the student to hear, sing, write and perform in the musical language. It encourages creativity to interpret compositions with stylistic awareness and to improvise and compose original compositions, as well as those based on a composer's style. It develops proficiency in reading music with ease and harmonizing melodies in traditional and contemporary settings. Therefore, music theory and history are integrated in the lessons with piano technique.

It is important for the student to share his or her music by playing in a variety of settings: performing in recitals and auditions, accompanying soloists and choirs, playing as part of an ensemble in chamber groups, church groups, or jazz bands.

--Sylvia Coats, NCTM Chair, MTNA National Certification Commission
Newly Certified

MTNA is proud to acknowledge the following newly certified
music teachers: (As of August 3, 2006)

Alabama: Alice Butler Eaton, Madison, Piano
 Donna H. Wilson, Prattville, Piano

Colorado: Hope Haberer, Westminster, Piano
 Kathryn Lewis, Lakewood, Guitar
 Mary G. McCartney, Fort Collins, Piano

Iowa: Wanda C. Reece, Waterloo, Piano
 Nicholas Roth, Des Moines, Piano

Illinois: Susan P. Atkins, Great Lakes, Piano
 Fabiola De O. F. Pinheiro, Sycamore, Piano

Minnesota: Autumn L. Hansen, Saint Paul, Piano

North Dakota: Priscilla A Keogh, Dickinson, Piano

New Jersey: Bing Bing Chang, Princeton, Piano

New Mexico: Amy Greer, Albuquerque, Piano

Ohio: Leah Kay Hogg, Middletown, Piano
 Jeffery L. Weaver, Bowling Green, Piano

Oregon: Stella T. Meinzer, Corvallis, Piano

Tennessee: Yukiko N. Whitehead, Memphis, Piano
 Julie Hensley Wright, Jefferson City, Piano

Virginia: Sarah Reaser O'Brien, Salem, Piano

Washington: Karen S. Monroe, Chehalis, Piano

Compiled by Deborah Wallace, NCTM
COPYRIGHT 2006 Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:music teachers
Author:Wallace, Deborah
Publication:American Music Teacher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Previous Article:2007 grant guidelines and forms available.
Next Article:Polyphony.

Related Articles
Professionalism: degrees of separation.
Professionalism--what is it and who needs it?
Certification renewal for previous holders of the College Faculty certificate.
Professional certification.
My road to certification.
Professional Certification: the MTNA Professional Certification program's new Option 3. Administrative Verification.
Certification--the worth of it!
Professional certification.
Professional certification: practicing professionalism.
Professional certification: defining certification.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters