Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vienna Boys' Choir: A student teacher's perspective

For those of you who don't know, I have recently graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a degree in music education. I decided to go on this amazing Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic trip to continue my education as well as experience music in the places it was premiered. The other day I went to the Vienna's Chapel of the Imperial Palace and attended my first mass. If seeing a very traditional service in a beautiful chapel wasn't enough, I was heard the Vienna Boys' Choir perform (along with talented tenors and basses) Mozart's Coronation Mass.

Sitting and listening to the boys' choir reminded me of my student teaching experience. No, it wasn't because our choirs we're up to the Vienna Boys' Choir caliber, but because you could tell that the conductor had extremely high expectations. Student teaching at the elementary level has taught me many things, the most important being to have nothing but the highest expectations of your students. Once you do that, you'll be amazed at what children can do.  In the beginning of student teaching, my worst mistake was thinking, "oh, that's too hard for them," or "I'm going to figure out an easier version for you to play." When it comes to teaching children, these are thoughts you need to stay away from.  Matt, my cooperating teacher, told me that if you don't believe children can do something and hold them back, then they'll believe they can't do it and put themselves in a box. Your students will be successful if you have high expectations, believe in their capabilities and provide them with the knowledge they need to get there. Not only will you be surprised, but truly amazed at what your students are capable of.

After listening to the Vienna Boys' Choir, it helped reignite my passion for teaching. I can't wait until I have my own classroom and can direct an ensemble with a similar teaching philosophy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment