Standard #4: Content Knowledge
Content Knowledge is by far the most important principle for any educator, because one needs to have a thorough understanding of his field if he intends to effectively communicate the content to his students. Furthermore, an educator should be able to anticipate questions that his students may have and incorporate concepts or activities into the lesson to address those questions. As music educators, we should have training and experience on every instrument we include in our classrooms. The instrument tech classes that Ball State offers are meant to teach us the foundations of each instrument that we may encounter in our classroom. Though a specific instrument may not be a teacher's primary, secondary, or even tertiary instrument, it is crucial that music educators are well-read and experienced on each instrument beyond what their student may currently be able to achieve.
Though I am a music education major, I have taken a few composition, tech, and performance classes. These experiences have prepared me to teach content that I may not have considered the value of previously. In Fall of 2014, I enrolled in a trumpet pedagogy course, which is required for trumpet performance majors at BSU. In this class, we explored every nook and cranny of trumpet pedagogy. This ranged from basics on how to form a beginner's trumpet embouchure, to teaching a student with a physical hinderance or health issue, to controversy and innovations of pedagogy and everything in between. I realize that when my students initially enter my classroom, they don't know or understand everything I have learned or will continue to learn. Therefore, it is my job as an educator to organize and prioritize my knowledge in a way that will not only make sense to my student in the moment, but will help them connect more complex information as they grow and develop and eventually leave my classroom.
‘Content Knowledge’ is the most important principle for educators, because one needs to have a thorough understanding of his field if he intends to easily communicate the subject matter to his students. Furthermore, an educator should be prepared to answer any unexpected questions from his students to help expand their knowledge outside what is to be covered in a single lesson.
My knowledge of music primarily stems from the ensembles I have participated in, private lessons I have received, and general music courses I have taken throughout my scholastic career. I believe I have a strong grasp on my subject matter for someone at my level of education and experience, due to the large variety of ensembles and classes I have taken. I feel as though I don’t communicate my thoughts clearly enough, however, which I will need to work on in order to apply my understanding to my teaching.
My remaining time at BSU will hopefully prepare me in this area. Through micro-teachings and my general music courses, I hope to develop a strong knowledge of the content I wish to teach. Classes such as orchestration, conducting, and various techniques classes will also help me develop this standard while attending BSU. Even after I complete my college education and secure my teaching license, I hope to continue learning and expand my knowledge of music. Through personal endeavors, participating in professional organizations such as N.B.A. and N.A.f.M.E., and networking and collaborating with other musicians and music educators, I hope to continue growing as a musician, an educator, and a student to provide an effective, well-rounded music program.