This is why I want to teach. I wrote this for my Music Methods Class:
As I was planning for college, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to study. For me, the decision was easy, music. Singing in choir and playing the piano were things I enjoyed and made me happy. I started my college career as a music education major. As I spent more time submerged in what I enjoyed and what made me happy, I realized that there was more to this passion of mine than I originally thought. My initial belief was that I wanted to become a music teacher to give my students the opportunity to discover their own love of music. I now understand that music does so much more. Music education does give students the opportunity to find something that makes them happy but it also provides the opportunity for students to learn in a different way, to make more cross-curricular connections through the help of music, to understand others’ beliefs, cultures, and differences, and to ignite a passion to continue this cycle. Music is not an extra class that is just meant to be fun; it enhances the educational experiences of a student.
Music education can give students a basic understanding and knowledge of music to then make decisions about their future experiences in music. It can be the first stepping-stone for passion and talent. An appreciation for music can also be developed. This can extend into all areas of life and learning. If a student is not interested or understanding a subject, learning through a song can change things around. There is one example of learning through song that especially stands out to me, the ABCs. It says a lot that the first step to language is learned through song. Researchers have found that “there is an area in the right half of the brain known to interpret written musical notes and passages of notes, that corresponds in location to the left-half area of the brain known to interpret written letters and words” (Hodges & Fox, 2010).
Building a good foundation with music can lead students to many options for a future. Continuing music education through high school and into college can lead to several careers in music or working with musical people. Obvious careers include teaching and performing but entertainment is an important part of our society. In order for performers, popular and classical, to be successful, they require vocal coaches or private teachers, managers, marketing specialists, sound engineers, sales reps and many other people. Music is everywhere in advertising as well, jingles in commercials, music to enhance the mood of scene in a TV show, movie scores, TV ads, etc. Music gives opportunities to all types of people in the workforce.
An unfortunate problem I see in some areas is the lack of diversity and the lack of tolerance for people, cultures, and beliefs that are different. Music is a universal thing that all cultures have some form of. Teaching world and multi-cultural music provides an important opportunity to show that experiencing something unfamiliar is not a bad thing. To understand the similarities is just as important as appreciating the differences in other cultures. Bridging this gap, through music, to help minimize the ignorance, discrimination, and racism.
It’s easy to realize that everyone enjoys music in some way. Providing a meaningful and proper beginning in music education can teach students more than how to sing or play the recorder. Music has a special effect on students. A first-grade teacher working with a music teacher has said, “What was really amazing was that those kids who were very reserved and did not participate in other school things became totally involved. So it brought out a lot of very positive feeling” (Brouillette, 2010). To take away a subject that creates this positive behavior wouldn’t be a terrible thing. All students deserve an equal opportunity to experience music and learn the best way they can.
I feel very strongly for the career I have picked. I wouldn’t put my time and energy into something that isn’t important. Sharing my experiences is the best gift I can give back to the world. Music is so important that people are still choosing to spend the time and money to make it a career. Without music education in schools, there would be no singing, no understanding of history and of others, no option to help out struggling students, no radio or interesting and memorable advertisements, and no sound to move our emotions. Students don’t just like music they need it.
Brouillette, L. (2010). How the Arts Help Children to Create Healthy Social Scripts: Exploring the Perceptions of Elementary Teachers. Arts Education Policy Review , 111 (1), pp. 16-24.
Hodges, D. A., & Fox, L. M. (2010, July 21). Research Shows Correlations Between Music and Language Mechanisms. Retrieved February 5, 2011, from MENC: The Nn ational Association for Music Education: http://www.menc.org/supportmusic_cases/view/1158