Apr 19

Music to Reflect (by Karli Smith)

I am a junior majoring in anthropology with a minor in dance, and I play tenor and bari saxophone. My hope is to be accepted to Teach For America as a corps member when I graduate next spring, and ultimately to pursue a career in education. To prepare me for this path, I am creating a unit of integrate curriculum for my honors thesis. I plan to pull from many different fields, notably anthropology, dance, art, and music as I design general education lesson plans for young elementary students.

This is realistically how I plan to conduct my classroom as well, and it makes me so excited that I will be able to carry music into my career. As musicians and dedicated band members, we have all had musical experiences that moved us, empowered us, that have healed us, or maybe even transformed us. I don’t believe these experiences should be confined to band, orchestra, and choir kids. I believe there is a productive place for these experiences in the general education classroom. All students deserve quality exposure to the wonders music can teach, even if the lessons aren’t about music itself. I hope to make my classroom a happier, exciting, accepting, and more contemplative environment through utilizing music.

I want my students to recognize how music can be used as a medium to not only express themselves, but to understand others. I can teach letters through singing pitches, or syllables through rhythm games, or help them remember facts or systems through songs, but all in all, music has the potential to teach much more important lessons; the lessons many of us had the privilege of learning through band.

Enjoying and creating music together fosters intrapersonal reflection as well as interpersonal caring and understanding, both of which are priceless tools as children grow not only as students, but also as human beings. I want to make sure my students have Music and Love to light their pathways in life.

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