Angeline, V. R. (2014). Motivation, professional development, and the experienced music teacher. Music Educator’s Journal, 101 (1), 50-55
Synopsis: The article “Motivation, Professional Development, and the Experienced Music Teacher” by Vincent Angeline (Sept 2014) argues that a lack of professional development impacts larger aspects of your life than just teaching in the classroom. It gives ideas to combat the lack of motivation by becoming more involved in the classroom, and to engage in professional development. Given the technical terminology used in the article, Angeline is writing to experienced teachers and school administrators.
- A lack of professional development will affect a larger section of personal life than previously believed.
- Any type of personal development, either reading or picking up a new hobby, can have unforeseen benefits in professional life, though the two may seem unconnected.
- In order to maintain interest in a long-time job, one must constantly strive to improve oneself as a teacher, musician, and citizen. Doing so will improve self-image, and improve job morale, as well as effectiveness.
Follow-up: Although I already understood maintaining a high level of musicianship and professionalism after graduation were important, this article highlighted the importance in my mind. In addition, the article reinforced that improving self-image and musicianship will raise morale, and in turn, that raise in morale will transfer to the students. Also the article made a good point, in that musicians are not musicians to play perfectly, but rather because we love what we do, and playing an instrument, or teaching, professionally causes us to always strive to do better.
“To be autonomous, one must act as a result of free choice and for the sheer enjoyment and pleasure inherent in the activity.” (52-53)
“The tasks to which they are dedicated seem to be interpretable as embodiments or incarnations of intrinsic values (rather than as a means to ends outside the work itself, and rather than as functionally autonomous) BECAUSE they embody these values. That is, ultimately it is the values that are loved rather than the job as such.” (54)
Hendricks K. S. (2014).Creating safe spaces for music learning. Music Educator’s Journal, 101 (1), 35-40
Synopsis: The article “Creating Safe Spaces for Music Learning” by Karin Hendricks (Sept 2014) discusses students, and the perhaps unintentionally instilled fear of inadequate musical performance, and explains that this is almost an epidemic in music studios in this age. However, the article goes on to give five bold points, and many sub-points on methods to combat this fear of music, and instill in students a high level of self-worth and love of music. Given the examples and references used, Hendricks is writing to a freelance music teacher as well as a classically trained music teacher.
- Competitions, although useful for encouraging some students to improve musically, can cause others to lose their love of music entirely, and it is extremely important to treat each student individually, and not as a generic group.
- Over ¼ young music students have a clinically relevant level of music performance anxiety, and 70% of adult orchestral musicians report anxiety levels high enough to affect performances.
- Critique the music, not the student.
Follow-up: Apparently few musicians do not have performance anxiety, and more than a few individuals have been “turned away” and begun to hate music because a teacher’s teaching methods, or off-hand remark. This, although commonly seen across the spectrum of music studios, should not be acceptable. Teachers should not instill a fear of music in their students, as this defeats the effect of the music itself, and takes the enjoyment out of listening and playing, as well as causing some students to believe they are “not musically gifted.”
“Intrinsic motivation can be fostered by teachers who do not view musical ability as a fixed skill but allow students to develop their ability level through their own efforts.” (36)
“The challenges of competition can be stimulation and enjoyable. But when beating the opponent takes precedence in the mind over performing as well as possible, enjoyment tends to disappear. Competition is enjoyable only when it is a means to perfect one’s skills; when it becomes an end in itself, it ceases to be fun.” (37)
“The practice of creating a safe space for our students begins by creating a safe space inside ourselves, one in which we are able to openly reflect on any present teaching practices that may not be beneficial or effective.” (39)