This was our final class on music teacher identity for the semester. We were lucky enough to be treated to a guest speaker by the name of Racheal Dwyer. Like the classes before it, we had tough conversations about race, gender, sex, and socio-economic status in the music industry and classroom. There was a lot of self-reflection during this lesson, which made me understand that we as teachers have a responsibility to help students actualise their ambitions and dreams. We play a vital role in the future of the music industry and music education. Being a positive role model and having a good moral compass is perhaps the most important thing about being a teacher as Teachers’ values and beliefs have a powerful effect on their teaching practice, and, that these shape students’ experiences of music learning. (Dwyer, 2015). This hits me pretty hard, as the entire reason I began the course was because I felt a responsibility, to the youth I see constantly being led astray and to myself. To be the teacher I never had growing up, someone I can look up to and go to for guidance, both musically and otherwise. Again during this guest talk, the discussion began to revolve around inclusion and exclusion, we discussed the use, or rather lack thereof of prominent black artists in music education. I feel that there is definitely a stigma towards hip-hop music with it often being sneered at as a meaningful genre to teach, but that simply isn’t the case. Teachers are constantly looking for new ways to have their students engage in musical material, and this goes back to some of the questions that were posed in the past weeks?? Why not? it’s likely the music that they’re listening to, so it would be advantageous to use it in the classroom. This and other forms of exclusion are pretty common in the music industry, I can’t remember how many times I’ve been excluded on account of my background, and it’s a really hard thing for students to experience. We, however as a society are making efforts to do better and this has served as a reminder of the kind of music teacher I want to be. Music classrooms and schools, in general, should be a place where students feel safe and valued and I intend to model mine in this manner, with a focus on the students in order to create lifelong musicians. That is my goal, that is my ambition and that is my aim. And no one will stop me. That is “who I be” as a music teacher.
Thank you for tuning in! I hope you all enjoyed it. Until next time 🙂
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