Exploring the Purpose
of Music Education

April 24, 2020

By Amy St. Louis, Lower School Music Teacher

Thanks to the generous support of the MMFS Parents Association, I was able to continue working toward a Masters of Music Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University last summer. I participated in three classes: Foundations of Music Education, Process and Structures in Visual Art, and Vocal Ensemble.

One class focused on critical issues facing music education today including historical, social, and philosophical perspectives in music ed, teaching and learning processes, social justice, pedagogy and curriculum, and creative problem solving. This class provided me with tools to reflect on my own curricula, the pedagogies I use to create musical experiences, and how my experiences/identity inform the way I interact with my students. Another class focused on the processes and structures of creating art and how that relates to music making. We explored various materials and how they could relate to music. We created art in response to music and worked to create lesson plans that incorporate visual and aural art.

During this past school year, the younger music classes participated in activities that explored relationships between timbre and lines and feeling and color. We focused on vocal production and the process of finding and learning music. This allowed me to reflect on my repertoire of choosing and teaching processes involved with the performance-based classes.

Thanks to the PA grant, I was able to learn from these courses and engage with my work colleagues in reflection on music education’s purpose and the responsibilities we have as music educators to provide meaningful musical experiences for every student.

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