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draft [May. 18th, 2004|07:35 pm]
engagedpedagogy
windysea
[mood |moodymoody]

Ok, so here is my draft. . . . after reading all of yours I feel like mine is pretty stuffy. I guess that is what re-writing is for, huh.

It is my desire to provide for my students an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and open dialogue in which they are free to explore different types of music. I believe that each student has the ability to make and understand music and it is my role as a teacher to facilitate their own natural creativity. It is my goal to help them increase their physical skills in creating music and expose them to different ways of thinking about music so that they are also able to grow in confidence, critical thinking and active listening.

I believe that music instruction should go beyond the mechanics of making music. Since music is deeply rooted in the culture where it was created, it provides an ideal opportunity for historical and cultural exploration. In looking at the musical work as an expression of its time, students will gain a deeper understanding of history as well as broaden their world view. I strive to give my students new tools that they can use when looking at a musical score or listening to a piece of music. Learning musical jargon and understanding music theory prepare students to be more actively engaged with the musical work. This increased understanding, coupled with improved technical skills, will lead to a greater sense of confidence and performance ability.

When working with students of all ages in either an individual or a classroom setting, I often engage them in dialogue about the music. I find that information about the composer, genre of music, culture, contemporary art, and historical setting all lead to an enhanced understanding of the musical work. I often include non-western music traditions as they provide a unique opportunity to gain understanding of other cultures. Since I believe that exposure to a wide range of musical styles is imperative in developing skill in performance, I encourage students to attend live concerts whenever possible. In depth study of scores while listening to recordings provides familiarity with the repertoire and gives the student tangible examples of the application of theory. I often include ear training activities and ensemble work to foster a sense of community among students and to encourage them to listen to one another. To increase technical skills on the piano I assign my students a variety of repertoire, as well as technical exercises and sight reading. To build confidence and familiarity with performing I often have class groups play for each other, and my private students are required to attend weekly studio classes where they play for each other and receive performance coaching.

In my professional career as a musician, I believe deeply that it is important for me to be actively engaged in an ongoing cultivation of both performance and teaching skills. In order to do this I maintain an active presence in the performance of both solo and chamber music and continue to take classes in music history and pedagogy as well as attending professional conferences and meetings.
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(no subject) [May. 17th, 2004|08:39 pm]
engagedpedagogy
windysea
[mood |draineddrained]

WOW!! Yins have been blogging like mad! I am totally exhausted from term-paper research, and visiting with a good friend's family (they came out from Philly to hear the recital she put on this weekend). Hopefully I can make some more progress on the teaching philosophy tomorrow. But - it has been a good teaching day!
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(no subject) [May. 15th, 2004|12:04 am]
engagedpedagogy
laurieneighbors
[mood |up late!]

whiteness bibliography here
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paths from this week's reading [May. 14th, 2004|10:23 am]
engagedpedagogy
laurieneighbors
More on Audrey Lorde.

More on Adrienne Rich.

What bell is doing this weekend.

: )
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brown vs the board of education [May. 14th, 2004|09:37 am]
engagedpedagogy
laurieneighbors
"When you look at Brown you are looking at a moment so powerful it is the equivalent of the Big Bang in our solar system," says historian and commentator Juan Williams. "It led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It led to sit-ins and bus rides and freedom marches. And even today, as we argue about affirmative action in colleges and graduate schools, the power of Brown continues to stir the nation." -- Read more about Brown here.
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confession [May. 13th, 2004|11:15 pm]
engagedpedagogy
lizhf
[mood |anxiousanxious]

One of my students, a self-described honors college dropout, won't speak in class and almost dropped out of it until I told her I'd help her stay in. She's only a year younger than I am (not that she knows that) and I just want to say, "you've been through the ringer schoolwise; transferring, switching colleges, majors, etc. so just take a pass on this silly laboratory for Freshman thought." But that's not fair to the other students and of course I didn't do it. I meant to ask her to speak in class and I forgot. When she turns in her mid-term self-eval maybe. . . .

A large number of my students have dropped this term. I want to say disappeared, cause that's what happens on my end. It's a point of pride to lose students in comp to the extent that you have fewer papers to grade. (That sounds awful--it's more like a gallows humor thing I think.) Anyway, I've been thinking about how I don't do much writing about my class on the blog. I do a lot of writing in my daily life but I still have the sense that writing makes something real and permanent and the fact is. . . I'm terrified. I love teaching and I love working with my indivdual students but sometimes just getting through a day knowing I have to teach can be so rough. I hate it when I'm cajoling, coaxing, baiting them and I get frustrated because I don't have time to prepare the way I want, don't aim things at them the right way, don't handle discussions the way I'd like to. . . I've said more than once that I'm REALLY tired of being both a teacher and a student because it's too hard but that can't quite be true because I believe that they're on the same continuum, that they're not really that different. It's just hard to do both in the same place maybe, to juggle the expectations.

But I think I don't write a lot about my students because I'm ashamed of my shortcomings. I get out of class and I try to forget it instantly sometimes, yet I feel like I'm always about to teach again. The kids are always calling me on the fact that I say tomorrow, we're going to. . . and not, wednesday or friday we're going to. . . their lives are very divided by MWF/TR schedule and mine just isn't anymore. It's immediate; I'm always there. I simultaneiously feel like I put too much time into my class and not enough. How is that possible?!

I got out of theater as a job/vocation because I felt like I was just winging it a lot of the time and it frustrated me that people bought it. I wasn't satisfied and I didn't seem to find anyone that would challenge me in terms of learning how to do it. When I finally did take a class that challenged me, it was a great relief because I could see that it took a lot of work to do it with integrity and I could see it was work I did not want to do. Maybe I'm scared of that happening with teaching; as much as I profess to want to teach 'on the margins' and push away the idea of being trained (god forbid) or certified, perhaps it's all just a sham and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, where I'll see that I have to move on.
My father, a huge influence on me, has a trait that drives me crazy. He refuses to engage in things that he can't do well or expertly and it narrows his enjoyment of things and produces major anxiety. I have been determined for a long time to NOT be like that but it is hard.

Maybe the blog form inspires confession because you feel like you're not really talking to others . . .

I want to write more about bell's book but am trashed from staying up late to work on my thesis all week. (Turned a draft in today--hooray!!!) When I hang out with you all, I always feel charged up and excited about teaching, so that confuses me more. (Maybe I'm just made for theory, ha ha!) Anyway, I missed you very much this week and I'm looking forward to class tomorrow.
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(no subject) [May. 13th, 2004|06:59 pm]
engagedpedagogy
windysea
P.S. I am sore in body, not in mind. . . .I just got back from weight-training at the gym, and it's been about 4 months since I've done it last. : )
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classroom update [May. 13th, 2004|06:57 pm]
engagedpedagogy
windysea
[mood |soresore]

Well folks, I tried to provoke a discussion in the classroom yesterday. It was rather short, but I think it went well! Here is what happened. Last week I wrote about how I had tried to rehease the class as a group a couple of times. I ended up not being very happy with this method; the students seemed frustrated and bored to me, so I decided to use the situation as a catalyst for discussion.

I started by asking them how they were able to learn a new song the most easily. They came up with a variety of answers, from practicing individually, to hearing it first and then being able to play it better, to listening to it while visually following the score etc. So then we talked about different learning styles, and how some of them were very aural learners, while others were tactile or visual etc. Next I brought up the method of learning as a group that I had tried. They agreed that they didn't like it much either; that it was difficult to stay together, and difficult to learn. From there we were able to talk about how ensemble playing is so much different from solo playing, and the idea that making music has so much to do with interpretation and that none of them will play the song exactly alike, even if they all know it equally as well. (oh, I just thought of a follow-up discussion topic: since there it not one specific "right" way to play a song, what makes some music performances good and others not so good? Also, who decides what is a good performance?)

I felt like they were actually relieved to talk about what we were doing in class, especially since they didn't like my little experiment in group rehearsing either. I think it enabled them to share their feelings, and for me to share mine, as well as giving us an opportunity to talk about some really valuable related topics.
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theory and pain [May. 11th, 2004|12:12 pm]
engagedpedagogy
windysea
[mood |relaxedrelaxed]

I was thinking about Sara's earlier post about theory and pain. I love the way Bell is constantly connecting theory to lived experience. Like Joan said, theory is making sense of something! So what about theory without pain - why is that never mentioned? I think that theory can exist without pain, even in a perfect world we would still have need to explain and make sense out of things. Maybe the reason that the two are so often married is that pain is such a common stimulous for the production of theory. If things are going well, we are content and don't very often ask ourselves why. But the bad stuff is so much more difficult to accept than the good stuff. If we are unhappy in our situation, of course we will want to change it, so pain provides the stimulous for the creation of theory. Pain also provides the need for change, and the need for change is a highly motivating factor in the formulation of theory.
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thoughts on the blog. . . [May. 7th, 2004|05:47 pm]
engagedpedagogy
windysea
[mood |pensivepensive]

I wanted to share with you all my thoughts on the blog, since we had talked about it is class today. The first day of class when Lorie mentioned it, I was scared of it, to be honest. I don't have any previous experience with this kind of technology, and so I immediately thought "oh no, I probably won't be able to figure it out." Hot on the heels of this first thought was the "what if they all think I'm stupid" train of thought. Yes, I have to admit I was intimidated by the group at first. It seemed to me like you all knew each other and all had very strong training in education, and initially I felt very much like an outsider. Well, I'm not scared of you anymore (quite the contrary, I think it is a wonderfully friendly and supportive group of people), but in some ways I still find this blog thing a bit difficult.

It is so different to write about things than to talk about things. The technology, even though it is providing a unique way to stay connected during the week, sometimes makes me feel like I am just sitting alone at my keyboard typing, wondering if anybody's really out there. And then words are so committing. When I put something in writing it seems so much more concrete than just saying it during a discussion. I want to feel like I can just bounce ideas around in this journal, but sometimes I hesitate, thinking that I need to wait until the idea is more well-developed. I also tend to feel like if I put my thoughts into words they need to be grammatically correct and well-developed specimens of writing.

I have been writing a lot about my daily experience of teaching, because I guess I am searching for connections between the stuff that we have been talking about and my reality. It is not so much that I am looking for answers to all my little ongoing situations, but more that I am trying to process and apply theory. Isn't that what bell has been saying in the last few chapters. . that we need to have a connection between theory and experience? I want to and am going to try to be more involved in discussions of the readings and ideas. . . but on the other hand, processing and applying is something that I seem to be craving right now.

This feels like it was a bit of a confessional - I suppose you'll forgive me? : )
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