The objective of education is to teach students how to think, not what to think. As an educator, my responsibility is to provide the optimal environment for learning as well as presenting new knowledge in which students can utilize to derive their own unique values. Professionalism as a music educator includes being a facilitator for academic growth, not a dictator. This means students are provided with new information and are constantly encouraged to explore and discover it for themselves rather than being lectured and expected to blindly agree. These individual values are a vital aspect of all adults who contribute to society. Music education is a wonderful vehicle to take students to new levels of appreciation for heritage and culture in the world around them. Through songs from around the globe, students begin to understand and embrace the diversity around them. The goal is for students to carry this with them beyond the classroom and into their adult lives.
Music class offers an experience unique to the everyday lives of students. In our classroom, students are exposed to music originating from all over the world. During these lessons, background information about our music’s respective lands, people, and culture are shared. Students are encouraged to ask questions and explore these new ideas from the safety of the classroom. This open environment is essential for students to be able to learn about their current and future peers without any fear of ridicule. It is unfortunate that this opportunity is so rare to find in the world past childhood. This is why music education is vital and time in the classroom is precious. Music classes give students the rare opportunity to experience and grow in this environment before continuing on with their lives.
Becoming a cultured and contributing member to society may seem like a large goal for our youth, but it is a fundamental one. The students currently in school class rooms are the future. Critical thinking skills, the ability to sympathize, and a fearless voice to ask questions about the unknown need to be nourished. Without these qualities in members of society, the hope for a bright future the survival many is lost. Society takes all kinds, but each kind must find their own passion amongst the rest.
In music class, students of all different backgrounds and learning styles work together. Activities in class provide practice opportunities for students to collaborate with different minds who share a common goal. Students are held to a high expectation of meeting this goal collectively. Students learn to express their thoughts while processing the thoughts of others and creating something beautiful together. This is exactly why music is core to student education and growth in preparation for future endeavors in school, work, and life.