State Standard 4

Content Knowledge:

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) they teach and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of content.

This standard is all about the teacher having a firm grasp on all of the concepts within the wide umbrella that is music education, not just what they personally prefer to play or sing.  Examples of these “concepts” include ideas within the areas of music theory, history, composition, and performance. Not only is the teacher expected to be proficient in their knowledge of these musical concepts and categories, they are also expected to have multiple tools in their hypothetical tool belts to be able to teach these concepts in multiple variations.  Each student learns differently and some methods work better than others, so it is up to the teacher to have multiple options to work with when it comes to properly teaching these concepts. In addition, every lesson should strive to include connecting and engagement opportunities, listening and responding activities, and moments for performance and musical creativity for the students.

Personally, I feel like I am proficient in the content areas that are needed to teach most music classes.  The combination of the techniques and methods courses that I have had the opportunity to take at Ball State University have me feeling quite prepared to take on whatever comes my way in the future.  In addition to the coursework that I believe has prepared me content-wise, my fieldwork placements and my job teaching high school percussion in my spare time have helped me grow on the continuum of being just as proficient in having multiple methods/tools to teach in my tool belt.  As for demeanor and keeping students engaged, I feel like I have my youth and personality on my side. I usually have rather positive feedback and interactions from students (and other teachers), which helps give me confidence to keep doing what I’m doing and to constantly strive to be my absolute best for the students!

One of my strengths is that I’m always striving to better myself in almost every aspect of my life, which largely includes teaching kids.  In regards to how I plan to continue growing in the area of this standard, I believe that the largest component is experience, which I’m finally getting and will continue to get even more in the coming semester/year.  Just in these few short months of this school year, I’m learning what learning tools and sequences work with what group of students, how to use my words effectively, and how to make a difference in the musical education of my students!