Friday, January 23, 2015

Student Teaching: A Metamorphosis

As the new semester commences, I find myself contemplative about what will transpire. I am about to undertake a profound and tenuous journey with 21 student teachers; 21 wonderful musicians/music educators who truly have no idea what they are about to experience! Student teaching is beautiful, stressful, exhausting, exhilarating, invigorating, hilarious, unpredictable, overwhelming and deeply transformative. It is the moment we cross the (imagined) chasm between student and teacher. It is a metamorphosis. And I wouldn't be surprised if many of the student teachers echo Gregor's sentiments from Kafka's telling story:

I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.

I normally dislike posts offering advice about teaching (how perplexing), but I saw this post recently and I find it to be incredibly on point. Therefore, I am passing it on to the lovely music educators I get to see through the student teaching journey - let's take loveteach's advice to heart. Embrace the student teaching experience, lean in, grab the opportunities before you and metabolize your new identity. We need you in the field. And we need you to be amazing for the precious students you get to journey with down this bumpy terrain.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Technology - A Trojan Horse?

As we ready the books and scores and pencils for back to school, here is a NY Times article to think about. Are schools finally realizing the inevitable? That we have to use technology to train the youth of today or they will not be able to compete in the global market. I certainly hope so! But, unfortunately in my upper middle class district on Long Island we still do not have this 1 to 1 ratio of computers to children, let alone enough computers for each of the teachers in the music department! This is incredibly frustrating for a teacher who wants to branch out into project-based learning with her students. Yes, it is true that I can sign out a computer lab to use for work with my students, but there are no keyboards, no music software save the free download of Finale notepad that it took months for me to get permission to have installed, not to mention the fact that it is incredibly difficult to get a reservation when multiple teachers are fighting for that lab at the same time. I only hope that this article does show us turning a corner in US schools. I hope that many schools will see the success of project-based learning and put more money in the budget for all programs to take advantage of this awesome technological revolution! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

iLove iPod for teaching music theory

This is something I have been thinking about for awhile. I don't know if other teachers feel the same way, but the iPod has transformed my use of audio examples in orchestra and music theory. No longer do I have to go searching through my CD collection to find the Beethoven symphony or Coltrane tune that I want to play for class. No longer do I have to put off listening to an excerpt of a piece that comes up in class because I do not happen to have it with me that day. Now, thanks to my iPod and a stereo, I have my entire music library at my fingertips to share with my class as needed. This is incredibly convenient, simple, and expedient. I also love that my students can bring in their own mp3 players and share their music with the class. It really has transformed music listening in class by making it more accessible. Now, iLove the whole process!

Friday, May 16, 2008

100 Music Ed Bloggers

So, is on a mission! They are trying to link up to 100 Music Education blogs by the end of the year, in an effort to extend the conversation about music, education, and technology. I think this is a terrific idea. It is great to have a source to read up on the latest developments in our field and a place to get inspiration from other bloggers, teachers and advocates.

Check out the ME blog campaign today!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Plan Ahead! That is my new mantra!

Well, I am so excited by what I have been learning about Flash, Dreamweaver, ActionScript, etc. this semester! But, one thing that really sticks out to me is that I have to plan ahead!!! After spending hours of time working with tables revising and revamping on the go, I began to realize that it might be better to plan the layout first. It seems like that would be obvious - but it took me awhile. Once I decided to plan the layout of a page ahead of time and designate which cells would merge and which would expand, it became easier to negotiate the size and placement of images. I found that life was much easier. Being a web designer has a lot to do with visualization. Perhaps it is like being an "architect" of cyberspace. It's all in the planning!