This year has been such a time of growth and understanding, during learning and experimenting you do not realize just how quickly time zips by until you’re writing the final reflection for your music class and preparing for practicum, summer and all the changes that lie ahead of your path. I feel very lucky to be able to reflect on the incredible opportunities that I have so fortunately been given and worked towards. As I spoke about in my last reflection, instruments were never something that played a huge role in my life. It was not that my family did not like them but was so busy doing other activities that we never really took up that area of art. We loved music but the furthest extent that that ability went was countless Sheryl crow CD’s and singing the Beatles as loud as we could in the car. Being in music class has helped me realize that I am capable of being musically inclined and that everyone can enjoy instruments if the right amount of time and patience is put into it. I believe that my greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is my understanding of how hard it can be to feel like you were left out of the music boat as a child and the attitude change that needs to happen to that feeling to be successful. I understand that everyone comes from different backgrounds, everyone has strengths, and everyone struggles in areas of education and life. I hope that my enthusiasm, patience and positive attitude will inspire students to take the risk of learning an embracing music even if they are the only student in the classroom who did not grow up in a musical household. To do this I hope to get students to be creative, to reach out and find the thing that works for them. Not every musical area is fit for every child, so I think that by being flexible and creative with it will be very important.
When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music I think of a Mr.’s Frizzle from the magic school bus type of future having an absolute blast in the classroom with every student engaged and having fun. I think that music is a huge release for students, it’s like physical education for the soul. I want to make music class a time of the day that students absolutely can not wait for. I also hope to integrate music into all sorts of different subjects and activities. In our Educational Psychology class, we studied the quote “Kids do well if they can”, not the popular belief that “kids do well if they wanna”. Kids will learn and engage if they can. Not every student has the opportunities and experiences to automatically be successful in the classroom, it is our job as educators to find out what is holding back a student and make it easier for them so that they can participate. Music is a tool that can help students who may not feel passionate or comfortable in other subjects to express those subjects through a different way. As a future educator I do not want to only teach the things that I am comfortable in, learning is never finished, and I want to keep learning and experimenting along side my student so that I can continue to expand my own musical skills and knowledge. Risk taking and being open to new experiences as an educator is a way that you will inspire students to take risks with music and have a general sense of creativity and exploration in their learning.
My greatest area of growth during this course has been my success with learning the ukulele and the confidence and excitement that achieving that has given me. I feel very comfortable strumming new songs with my musical roommates and singing along side them when they are playing. This is so special to me because I was always so self-conscious about my voice and for the first time in my life I feel like I have something to contribute musically. While I may not be an opera star I feel confident lightly singing alongside everyone and just randomly picking up my ukulele and playing. I know now that I am totally capable of learning an instrument and that it was never that I was bad at music only that I had not had a strong experience it in my early years. In conclusion, I believe that I have had a complete attitude adjustment with music and how it can be perceived. Music is supposed to be enlightening, fun, creative, challenging and personal. It is a way to express yourself and let your guard’s down. My musical career has just begun and I’m so happy that I could be introduced to it this year.
Since my last midterm reflection, I have successfully learned a few more simple songs included 5 years’ time by Noah and the Whale and You Are My Sunshine. I have also been working on creating my own little tunes while singing and wrote a little song that I have at the end of my audio reflection. I have been working on refining my strumming and simultaneously singing and playing at the same time. I am very proud to say that I reached all the goals that I set out for myself at the beginning of this semester. I have been playing the ukulele alongside my roommates and do not have to look when changing and moving my fingers. While doing the audio reflection I have a bit of a scratchy throat from a cold that I have been getting sick a while back, so you can tell my voice is a little rougher than usual. In conclusion, this experience has been challenging, enjoyable, and successful! I am asking for a ukulele for my birthdayJ