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The candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the

discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates content-specific learning and literacy experiences
that make the discipline accessible and relevant to assure mastery of the content. (This entry
may be up to 800 words).

The candidate should complete a reflective essay illustrating appropriate content knowledge
utilized in teaching the content. Three artifacts are to be submitted and may include Unit
Plans, Lesson Plans, Course Plans, Class Syllabi, Teacher Observations, and Teacher

Without a solid foundation of knowledge in both music and education, the music classroom will
not succeed. A music educator cannot function with skills in both aspects. Education goes further than
just teaching skills, a teacher must have planning and creative skills when forming curriculum and unit
plans. A vast musical knowledge helps the teacher create unique projects and lessons to ensure student
understanding of all musical concepts. Through my experiences substitute teaching and class work I am
confident in my abilities to teacher the future of music.
Classroom procedures must be set up from the start even before music making happens. These
procedures include how students enter a classroom, getting out instruments/music, putting equipment
away, and how to participate in class. These procedures help with classroom management minimizing
problems that may arise. While you cannot stop all problems having these procedures in place from day
one help solve many problems. These procedures along with consequences for not following them
should reflect your personal beliefs and philosophy.
After these procedures are established musical lessons will be more easily received. Students
learn best in an environment where they know what is expected of them and it does not vary day to
day. Most thrive with this structure. While the structure should not vary, instruction should. This
ensures each lesson reaches each student. Modeling has been a proven method of instruction during
rehearsals. When a teacher models exactly how they want a section to sound students have a better
understanding of how to perform the given task. This modeling works well with other proven
elementary classroom instruction methods such as Orff, Kodaly, or Dalcroze. While these are vastly
different in instruction, the basic premise is the same which means some instructional tactics work well
with each one.
I personally believe a mixture of all methods create well-rounded musicians from a young age.
These methods require a broad knowledge of musical content of the teacher to create lessons to
incorporate important pedagogical concepts, musical concepts, and national standards. I believe my
class work and experience teaching has given me this knowledge. I was able to create lesson plans using
all three of the above mentioned methods and study them in depth on how best to implement them in a
classroom. My elementary classroom will have a nice balance of instrumental use, movement, and
musical concepts. I believe all three are important parts of a young musician’s musical experience. The
music however is the driving factor of all these experiences. Without good music choices by the teacher,
student learning is not at its full potential. Using instruments, games, and movement help students get a
full musical experience.
In a secondary classroom, these things are just as important. Games and movement can provide
fun outlets for student creativity and help them discover each musical concept. My secondary classroom
will provide opportunities with all of these things. I will also include other important methods of learning
such as peer assessment, self-reflection, projects, and group discussions. These tools should help ensure
student success. In one secondary unit, I wrote a lesson helping students understand culture of
Caribbean people. This activity involves a project where students research dances of Caribbean folk
music and how they are used in society. This lesson relates to the piece, Caribbean Rondo, being worked
on in class as this song is a culmination of different dances. After researching, students will present their
findings to the class.
During my student teaching semester, I was able to exhibit my content knowledge on a daily
basis through working on warm-ups with the classes to rehearsing each different piece. I had to be fully
aware of what was happening musically, so I could lead the students to be their best musician. In the 5th
and 6th grade most of the things we worked on were technical, fingerings, rhythms, articulation, etc. I
had to be prepared to answer questions and model exactly how to perform each skill. At the secondary
level we got to some real music making and made connections to other subjects. One of my favorite
lessons I taught this semester was with the high school band. They were tasked to create a story that
followed what was happening musically in the piece “Heatherwood Portrait” by James Barnes. I had to
know the score extremely well to help them understand the relationship between story telling and
My classwork has given me experiences in music theory, history, arranging, and performing. All
important aspects of being able to teach and create a musical curriculum. I believe that with all these
classes and projects I have done I feel I am well qualified to teach music to both elementary and
secondary classrooms. This paired with my experience leading a classroom I am ready to teach future