As a music teacher, I recognize the importance of music selection and will choose varied and diverse music that I have put time into analyzing, planning, and presenting. One of my favorite studies of music is the Ostling study of quality band literature. In this study, Ostling outlines the makings of quality literature that was contributed to by some of the best band directors and conductors of the time. This list covers specifics on form, shape, craftsmanship, meaning, roadmapping, consistency, ingenuity, and overall usefulness as a contribution to the repertoire. While this study focuses on band literature, the list of elements for quality music transcends into every genre and is one that I reference when writing my own music and when searching for music to play. When music fits these qualifications, it is music worth studying and performing. My time at Kansas State University and the University of Tennessee has equipped me with a wide variety of tools to be able to analyze and present these pieces in a way that students will find personal and educational. I encourage students to make note of these personal connections and eureka moments through class journaling so they can track their own musical development and take steps toward becoming better musicians. When I was teaching ear training at Tennessee, I had students share moments of learning as an extra credit opportunity at the end of our unit tests. Not only did this give my students an opportunity to reflect on their own growth, but it allowed me to evaluate my teaching and better my lessons for the future
Students will benefit from my instruction because I have developed ways of explaining the analytical aspects of music in a way that students could comprehend at all levels of their music education journey. Because it is important to me that students understand the significance of the composers’ decisions, I incorporate discussions of music theory and history within my lesson plans. Students will leave my program with a richer understanding of culture, history, and of music construction as a result.