I loved the experience of teaching at Fees and knew that this was the career path for me. The first is a positive energy. At fees, the students were non-communicative and reluctant to be involved (which is understandable with an unfamiliar face in front) but as the instruction time went on, they relaxed and their energy changed. Upon my reflection at fees I noticed that student musical achievement was low and I do not know what I could have done in that situation to raise it. For example: the two trumpet players did not know how to play a “G” which is important to that piece of music. When I realized they were not playing in the appropriate parcel I attempted to work with them by having them sing the note, play the note, and I even asked an ASU student to sit by them and play with them. Even with all of this they still could not achieve this goal. I was faced with a choice, spend all my time on this group of students, or follow through the lesson: I chose the lesson. Lucky for me the primary goal was to define and identify a first and second ending. The students were able to achieve this objective and it was demonstrated by their ability to return to repeat sign.
My personal objective for this lesson was to “talk less and play more”. I would say that I mastered 50% of this goal. My instructions were clear a majority of the time, but when I was explaining the students fingering while I played spent 32 seconds explaining the directions, when I could have probably said, “Please finger and wind, but don’t make any sound” and that was it. This would have given more time for students to practice playing this piece, rather than being cut off with only the first four measures being played. Along these same lines I noticed that I said “Um” more than a few times and I have being trying for a very long time to quit saying this word.
This experience did have quite a few positives/ strengths as well. The first is my ability to make students feel welcome. I feel like it sounds silly, but by asking the students name, they all smiled and it felt as though they were more encouraged to answer the questions. I believe that names hold and incredible power that many people do not harness in the music world. This took time out of the lesson itself, but I believe that it was time well spent. The second strength that I had was I did my best to not put students on the spot. It was hard because of the small class numbers, but even when I was working with the clarinet section and having them play one at a time, I never gave constructive feedback allowed to the whole group, only to the clarinets. The final strength that is demonstrated is ENERGY. I told a joke, I had the students say random things, and I rewarded students with something as simple as a high-five, but that improved the students attitude and freed up the sound production.
I was grateful that my objective for this lesson was easy and simple. I believe that it helped set myself up for success with the students, especially because their achievement level was lower than (I feel like) we were told they would be. The process we were taught works, but it is not a process that works the first time like I thought it would. Looking back, teaching in class was not beneficial for me because I was already a strong teacher in my foundations. The stuff that went wrong at Fees Middle School were things that were caused by students not being able to play well yet. I feel like I was able to overcome these things, but I know that other students were not. For next semester my personal goals are to be able to teach a beginner with every instrument, and to learn two more secondary instruments. Preferably horn and flute.
In conclusion, I believe that the final teaching at fees was successful for myself. This was a learning experience for what I need to work on personally and how to proceed in future art of teaching classes.