FME1: Week 7: Putting It All Together and Moving Forward

FME1: Week 7: Putting It All Together and Moving Forward

Photo by Anna Utochkina on Unsplash

For our final week of this course, our articles focused on the changes music education scholars believe we need to see moving forward. Our discussion board also focused around the idea of changes we believe need to happen in music education. Finally, we also had to complete a paper, which I will post separately, analyzing our current teaching practices in light of what we have learned in this course.

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FME1: Week 6: Ethics and Music Education

FME1: Week 6: Ethics and Music Education

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

When I first read the title for this week, I thought we would be continuing down the path of Week 4 and Week 5 with social justice issues. Instead, we looked more at the “why” of music education. Why do we teach the things we do? Why do we teach in the ways that we do? How might the what and how we teach be excluding other students? There were points raised in some of our early readings this week (Jorgensen and Mantie & Tucker) that really resonated with me, but left me with some unresolved internal conflicts about my own philosophies of music education. Both of Regelski’s articles helped to clarify some of my thinking around those points, which you can read about below.

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FME1: Week 5: Music Education Topics that Need our Attention Now!

FME1: Week 5: Music Education Topics that Need our Attention Now!

Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

An alternate title for this week’s content could have been: Music Education and Social Justice: Equity and Diversity, as one of our modules was titled. Our readings centered around the intersection of music education and topics of social justice like sexual orientation and women in music. A particular quote from our professor really resonated with me, “Perhaps the fundamental question you must ask yourself is if the teaching of music is about music or about people.” I’ve had colleagues share similar sentiments about the extramusical effects of music education: teaching students “how to human.”

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FME1: Week 4: Music Education and Social Justice: Equity and Diversity

FME1: Week 4: Music Education and Social Justice: Equity and Diversity

Photo by Subhakant Mishra on Unsplash.

This past week was tough, not only because we had family here for part of it and I got sick, but because of the reading. We were asked to read Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities and find two additional articles about music education that follow the same line of inquiry as Kozol. I read a dissertation on the California Music Project Teacher Training Program and an article from School Band & Orchestra about Dealing with Inequality in Your District. Most of this post will be focused on the content of those readings with a little bit of the weekly discussion at the end.

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FME1: Week 3: What is Music?/Ways of Viewing the World

FME1: Week 3: What is Music?/Ways of Viewing the World

Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash.

This week focused on reading about the two overarching philosophies for music education: aesthetic and praxial. We had a few introductory articles and then read the main chapters from the seminal works on the two philosophies. McCarthy and Goble’s article, Music Education Philosophy: Changing Times from the Music Educators Journal (2002, Volume 89, Issue 1), provided a great overview, definition, and history of the two philosophies. The two seminal works were Experiencing Art (Chapter 6 of Bennet Reimer’s A Philosophy of Music Education) and Toward a New Philosophy (Chapter 2 of David Elliott’s Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education). Reimer’s philosophy of music education represents the aesthetic and Elliott’s philosophy represents the praxial.

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Previous Philosophies of Music Education

Previous Philosophies of Music Education

Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

As we have progressed through Week 1 and Week 2 of my first doctoral class, Foundations of Music Education I: Philosophy and History, I have found myself revisiting my prior philosophies of music education. At first, I was hesitant to share them because (1) I have not looked at or thought about them in quite some time, and (2) our learning in this class is more towards philosophy as an action. Here is a sampling from the prompt for our final paper:

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FME1: Week 2: What is Philosophy? What is History? What is Research?

FME1: Week 2: What is Philosophy? What is History? What is Research?

Photo by Jordan Mixson on Unsplash

This past week our topic was: What is Philosophy? What is History? What is Research?. I learned quite a bit from the online modules about the “tools” of being a philosopher, using different techniques to think and analyze. These modules drew from the works of George Knight (viewing philosophy as the intersection of content, attitudes, and activities), R.J. Hollingdale (philosophy is inquiry into logic, ontology, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics), and Fosl & Baggini (different tools to use in philosophy). Another piece that I learned is the following paragraph from one of our modules:

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Missing the First Day of School

Missing the First Day of School

Today, for the first time in twenty-seven years, I'm not having a first day of school! Yesterday was the first day for our surrounding schools, and today is Ankeny's first day back with students. I have yet to find a job within a reasonable (hour or less) driving distance from our house near Charlottesville. Most of the instrumental music jobs that have been posted have been around D.C. (2.5 hours) or Richmond (1.5 hours). I have applied to substitute teach in both the Charlottesville and Albemarle County school districts, and now I'm just waiting to hear back.

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Reflection: IBA 2018

This year's conference for me was bittersweet as it could be my last for quite some time. Unrelated to my departure, I found this conference to not hold a lot of very practical take-back-immediately kind of learning for me, but instead, learning that provoked a great deal of thinking. I wanted to get much of that thinking out quickly after the conference so I didn't lose it. Here is what my schedule looked like this year:

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Developing Small Ensembles

Developing Small Ensembles

A few years ago, we began implementing a student-run Ensemble Project for the time between the last concert and the last days of school. The linked blog post goes in-depth with the implementation of that particular project. As noted at the end of that post, I wanted to dig deeper into implementing our district's instructional framework, specifically focusing on the productive group work aspect of the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR). This year, I used small ensembles throughout the year to help develop these skills.

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Thinking About Standards

I just got back from an excellent conversation about education with a colleague and friend, and I want to capture my thoughts both "on paper" and "out there" in the world. A lot of our conversation comes from the experiences we have been having teaching this year. Personally, it is a lot of different things coming to a head for me. Whether it is leaving next here, missing out on the curriculum review process, and thinking about my legacy at Centennial, or the professional learning we are doing as a staff and district, or the new beginnings I will have in Charlottesville and as a DMA student in music education at Boston University. I guess you could call this a more evolved version of my "philosophy of music education." Here goes:

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Multi-Tiered System of Supports in Instrumental Music

Multi-Tiered System of Supports in Instrumental Music

As part of my school's professional learning this year, we have been looking at integrating a Work Habits tool into our instruction. As part of our district's transition to standards-referenced grading, we have removed behavior from the academic grade. The Work Habits tool is a means of assessing behavior. Our staff's learning around the science of behavior, collecting and analyzing behavior data, and responding to behaviors has been fascinating to me. Specifically, we have been looking at how our academic AND behavior standards fit into the MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) framework.

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Starting a New Adventure

Well, we told the students today, so I guess that makes it "official"... This year will be my last at Centennial High School. This past Spring, my wife completed her PhD program in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University and accepted a tenure track professorship at the University of Virginia! We moved her out there at the beginning of November, where she is doing some contracted work with NASA Langley before beginning at UVA in February. I have not yet found a job out in the Charlottesville area yet, but it is still pretty early in the process. I see three options moving forward: a teaching gig in Virginia, getting really good at riding my bike to all of the establishments, or a doctoral program in music education. Someone has to train the future music eduactors to be the funniest band directors in the tri-state area!

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Reflection: PLC at Work Institute

This past week, I attended the PLC at Work Institute in St. Charles, Missouri with many Ankeny teachers. This is the same institute that I attended in June 2014. That post has a lot of the background on professional learning communities, the structure of the conference, and how our vertical PLC was implementing practices at the time. I wanted to spend some time reflecting to better ingrain what I learned this past week. I feel like the previous institute I attended was much more focused on the fundamentals of PLC work, but that may have just been where I was in my learning at the time. This year's conference, I was able to better target my learning with the breakout sessions I attended, and have some great ideas for moving forward in our work. Throughout I took notes and tweeted pictures of slides and quotes I heard throughout.

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