Over this semester I feel like I learned a lot about music and teaching music. Going into this course, I did not know anything about the piano or teaching music. I did have the tiniest bit of musical background in that I did band in middle school but that was a super long time ago and I had very little memory of it.
I found learning the piano to be a really steep learning curve. I initially started by trying to learn “properly” by learning scales and chords and how to read music, etc. I found that that was great for learning some of the basics but I got very bored quickly. Initially, I wanted to learn an Elton John song for my final. After looking at some of the music for his songs, I realized that was way beyond my abilities. I then started learning “All of Me” by John Legend. That went better but I still think it was a bit ambitious.
I found that playing with just my right hand was fine. It took some practice and learning but I was eventually able to get the hang of it. However, playing with two hands was a really big challenge for me. Even with practicing about 10-30 minutes every day, I still found it very challenging. My right hand is totally fine but once I try adding in my left everything fell apart. In my “All of Me” video, I tried to add in playing with both hands but I still made loads of mistakes throughout the video.
Overall I feel like I have accomplished something and feel like I could learn a few more simple songs which could come in handy with my teaching practice. I’d like to learn more nursery rhymes or French children’s songs to be able to use in the classroom.
My greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is my patience and organization. I have the patience to be able to work with my students to discover their musical abilities and teach them the musical curriculum. My organization will ensure that I am able to meet the needs of my learners and use music as a cross-curricular in my classroom.
When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I feel excited and optimistic. I resonated with what has been said in class about not “decorating” with music in lessons and I intend to follow through with this. As someone who is hoping to teach French, I want to use music to teach about French, while still learning about music. I also feel nervous because I almost don’t feel qualified enough to be able to teach music while I myself feel like I have so much more to learn.
My greatest area of growth during the course has been in the area of my own musicality and in my comfort with music. Learning to play the piano has given me the space to explore something completely new and be gentle with myself while learning it. I feel like I have grown in knowing how capable I am and in my confidence with music. I also feel more and more comfortable each day with musicality in class.
For our “dry run” lesson we focused on body percussion and integration of science into this chant. Overall, our lesson was okay. It was not a total “flop” but nor was it a lesson that went amazing.
At the time of the preparation of our lesson, we did not realize that we would be presenting this lesson to our class. We had just thought that we would be sharing to the class in the sense of just explaining what we would be doing instead of actually teaching it to everyone. I think had we known that we would actually be presenting, we would have prepared a bit more thoroughly and would have felt a greater sense of organization going into our presentation. Given that our group had 6 people in it, it made it a bit difficult for everyone to have a chance to present and for everyone to be involved. In future, I would’ve liked to feel more prepared and work with a smaller group when planning and presenting lessons.
We did a good job of integrating science into our lesson and keeping our students active and engaged. Using body percussion makes the lesson accessible and helps with classroom management. My favourite part of our lesson was that our sound effects that went with our chant actually sounded like a rainstorm and I think that the students would really like that. I also liked that we involved the students in deciding what actions and body percussion we would integrate into the chant.