A majority of those outside the fields of music and the arts do not understand the whys or the hows concerning the process of arts education. Provided with a clear understanding of those whys and hows, and supported by quality arts education in practice, people begin to realize the value of music and arts education.
With the reduction of funding for educational programs on many levels, andwith the unprecedented pressures put on schools, districts and states by the No Child Left Behind Act, responsibility for retaining arts programs rests with every arts educator, every parent and all community members.
Teaching is a people business. Identifying and hiring the best-prepared and motivated candidates for a position is the most important thing we can do for our students, our programs and ourselves. A thorough hiring process, one that reflects the care and concern you and your administration have for your program, is to everyone’s benefit.
Champions of Change indicates music study improved students’ success in math. A new report compiling the results of seven major studies provides important new evidence of enhanced learning and achievement when the arts are an integral part of the educational experience, both in and out of America’s K–12 schools.
Becoming a discerning, supportive and knowledgeable audience member is an important part of a student’s education. Successful audience participation requires skill, discretion, common sense, discipline and a bit of knowledge.
You have worked very hard to prepare your students to perform in concert. One final step remains: It is also essential that you set a high expectation for audience behavior and appropriate participation.
Regularly scheduled arts events open doors to community education. Concert audiences appreciate informative printed program notes or a presentation offering information about the particular compositions to be performed.
How do you know if you want to become a music teacher? Some students just know and others make that decision when considering career options. For many students, sharing the joy of music becomes their passion.
Each school district has specific procedures that directors follow in order to conduct business. The best time to check on these procedures is during your job interview. Review these procedures with your administration once you have started your new job.
To better inform the community about the purpose, structure and achievements of the school’s music program, provide an annual written report to the appropriate supervisor and, with permission, to parents and the community.
Instrumental music directors and parents should know that one of the strongest supporters of school music programs has been and continues to be the local full-service, school-oriented music dealer. Direct-mail and Internet retailers usually trade on price and do not offer service or indepth concern for the local school programs or community.
Among the reasons offered by parents and youngsters for NOT participating in music are a failure to be told about the nature and benefits of ensemble participation; lack of information about costs and available instrument rental plans; and concern over the amount of time that must be devoted in order to participate successfully.
Mentoring is a powerful approach to help new teachers be successful in their first years of teaching. The strength of the program lies in the support and assistance of the trained mentors—colleagues of the new teachers who have a wealth of experience, skills and resources to provide support.
Instrumental teachers have a keen interest in professional development—studying conducting, instructional techniques, ensemble development and literature. Despite this commitment to professional growth, the thrill of having an outstanding ensemble eludes many directors.
Too many excellent presentations are tainted by failure to take care of the many details of a production. We must take full advantage of the opportunities awaiting our students. The concert is our students’ opportunity to show their parents or community audiences what they can do.
The contemporary student comes to the classroom with a sophisticated knowledge of computers. It is vital that we creatively approach and utilize the application of available technology to engage students and enhance learning. Multimedia learning provides teachers, including music teachers, the opportunity to be at the core of communications.
The following examples, offered by one of America’s foremost music educators, provide guidance and affirmation of the roles and responsibilities we as music educators all must possess, model and promote. Reflections on the Cutting Edge of Teaching: Where Teacher Meets the Pupil captures the heart of teaching.
If you are looking to maintain, build or expand your music program, Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons from Schools that Value Arts Education examines 13 critical factors that influence successful arts programs. Consider the following factors as a self-assessment and analyze the extent to which the following critical factors are present in your school district.
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