For some time now, I have wanted to start a camp specifically for Future Music Educators. There are camps for future engineers, camps for math and science, there are string camps and band camps, but why not a camp for those who love music ed? I have wanted to be a music teacher for ages! The only things I ever wanted to be before my love of music education included “ballerina…” and “doctor.” In all reality, I feel that to some degree, I have nearly accomplished my two dreams in totally different ways than I originally imagined. I mean, ballerinas are really just performers and what do I do every day?!?! I perform in the classroom. Now, it is a much more interactive performance than your typical ballerina puts on, but still, I can make some connection. And doctor… Well, I am getting my PhD! But in all reality, I wanted to be a doctor because my childhood doctor, Dr. Sweeney with a bushy Santa Claus beard (before Santa’s beard turned gray), was one of the kindest and most trustworthy adults. I just wanted to be like him and help children. I knew that much…
Anyhow, I realized that I wanted to be a music teacher at some point in middle school. I started teaching private lessons and then in high school, my orchestra teacher recommended that I become a counselor at a string camp. I had always wanted to attend string camp, but it was never in my parents’ budget and so instead of attending, I started my journey as a Jr. Music Educator (that is the title I have given it as I have aged…) with string camp. And let me tell you, those experiences solidified by desire to be a music teacher. They provided me with a wealth of experiences dealing with a diverse group of young musicians and the confidence that I would need in my first year of college. It was with these thoughts that I wanted to start my Future Music Educators Camp.
So, the camp, it is going to be amazing, first of all! It starts on Monday and we have 6 students signed up. For a first year, I think that 6 is just perfect. The first week will include multiple guest speakers (a few professors of music ed and one amazing music teacher) in addition to peer teaching, lesson planning, and mostly: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT! The second week will include an actual practicum in which each student is placed in a camp (band camp or strings camp (no choir students this summer 😦 ) and their educational involvement will grow each day from private lessons all the way to a large group rehearsal. On the last Friday, students will return to Annandale High School for a reflective session and a celebration.
How shocking is it that most MusEd courses have no actual classes that teach classroom management?! So much of what we do involves classroom management and yet we don’t have any actual classes in it. So, that will be one of my big topics throughout the entire week. Here are a few important things I will be focusing on:
The use of EFFECTIVE praise (tangible and relevant)
The necessary balance in criticism
Proximity of Teacher to student
Clarity of expectations
Time on task! (I think I could spend an entire week working through this one)
I have to really work hard to fit all of this into my one week but I am so excited! And since it is just about all I can talk about today, I figured I would write about it and get out my nerves.
Okay, Critical Pedagogue Out for now. Until next time!