Reflection #9: My greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is having many resources from my years as a student in music. I can use this strength to give to create lessons off of some of the material I have accumulated over the years. I find it will be beneficial to add songs and music into all aspects of teaching because it can help calm students and help them remember things. Much of the materials I have is used for ages 3-12 which is about the same age range I will be teaching. Music for Young Children is a great program I took and kept all the books from which I would love to use in my classroom. I remember the books having stories about Mrs. Treble Clef and Mr. Bass Clef which made music make more sense for young children.
I find another strength I can bring is being able to play the piano and now the ukulele. Just like when Maeve, Julia and Liv used the instrument to just play a welcome song made it really fun and engaging, especially for young students. Being able to play the piano quite well allows me to spend less time learning how to read music or how to play because I already know how to, so I can focus more time on making engaging lessons that incorporate music.
Finally, I think another one of my professional strengths is realizing how crucial music is in the classroom. I always loved in French class, singing songs or when music was playing during PE. I always found it made school more enjoyable when there was an aspect of music involved. I hope that when I have my own classroom I can incorporate music into as much as possible.
Reflection #10: When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I want to incorporate music into every subject. Adding music into different subjects allows room for cross-curricular learning by adding music into other subjects. Singing songs or playing instruments to learn about math, science or reading, makes learning engaging and fun for all students and all types of learners. Music can help some student remember concepts and ideas better because it is rhythming with a catchy tune rather than just memorizing words. I listened to a song in grade 7 about circles and their surface area, diameter and circumference that I still use today!
When learning a different a language as well, music can really help. When I teach French, using songs and rhyme help students remember better. I also want to constantly be playing music in the background of my class (except during instructions). I was in a classroom last semester, observing and the teacher had relaxing music playing in the background when the students were working. I asked her why she did this and she said it calms the students after lunch or recess and the classical music actually helps them focus better. I do realize that this will be dependant on the class each year as some students need total silence to work, but I think it’s important to teach children how to work in an environment with some noise and having it be music I think would be great.
Incorporating music into an everyday routine I find is important and I want to allow my students to sing and have fun!
Reflection #11: My greatest area of growth during the year/ course has been in the area of actually learning how to play the ukulele. I have never been strong at playing string instruments as I tried to learn the guitar years ago but never seemed to get the hang of it. But this as a project forced me not to give up and to practice until it became something I loved doing every single day. When I first started to play I found it really different than my other experiences with playing instruments as I played the saxophone and piano. This instrument had strings and I had to learn how to tune it, etc. which made me feel at first way in over my head. But as I continued to practice each day, I became better at switching between chords, keeping the pace right and strumming with only my hand not my whole arm. The most challenging part of it all is singing while playing. As I am still working on this and haven’t perfected it yet, I found it difficult to keep my strumming proper while trying to time my voice to my strumming. I am a little disappointed because I thought by the end of the semester I was going to have this mastered but unfortunately I did not. I don’t feel confident enough to say I reached my goal but I am going to continue to work at it over the summer because watching Maeve play the ukulele while we sang a song was so fun and so much better than using a CD so for my students I want to continue to work on this.