Entry #8

The candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in relevant ways. 

As a future music educator, I display a comprehensive understanding of instructional strategies that encourage a deep understanding of content areas and knowledge application. Since I have done extensive education in several areas of music, I have compiled pedagogical resources and techniques that will assist me in all areas of the music classroom. The main focus of my horn studies in graduate and undergraduate school was brass pedagogy, specifically for horn but also resources that are applicable across the brass section. As a result of my study, I compiled an index of pedagogical materials to assist teachers in large ensembles for topics such as embouchure and buzzing as well as materials to assist student-led learning outside of the classroom and in their lessons. I also amassed a large binder of materials from my experience teaching music theory and aural skills. Not only did I attend classes for that purpose, but I was able to narrow in on the strategies I perceived to be more effective in my own classroom. One such strategy is chunking. The chunking method breaks apart a musical phrase and isolates it for students to determine the quality and function of the chords in the selected progression. I found this method also works well for students’ technical development on their instruments. If there is a passage that is technically challenging, students can break it apart into smaller chunks and put it back in context when they feel proficient. Lastly, I wish to highlight the pedagogical techniques shown in my elementary and secondary units to help students learn and memorize their songs. I do this through echo technique, fill-in-the-blank, solfege, and improvisation for elementary students. For my secondary students I applied the chunking method, tuning exercises, scale exercises, chorales for legato style playing, singing, and breathing exercises. Each pedagogical technique is chosen to assist students in their musical development and have been proven effective in my own experiences in front of, and in, ensembles. 

Students in my future classroom will benefit from my comprehensive experience and knowledge of pedagogical techniques because it will help them understand the concepts studied in class but also how to apply those concepts in their own study outside of class. I explain many of my pedagogical techniques to my students, especially high school students, because they can experience the growth that such techniques bring about. If they see that I slow down a difficult passage, I can explain that slowing down allows students to develop coordination of their air and technique. Students will then be able to apply this technique in their practice at home.

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