“Whenever and wherever humans have existed music has existed also. (Reimer)” The experience of music has historically acted as a communal glue connecting cultures and communities. Music has been a prevalent portion of all cultures, being used in celebration, ceremonies, wars, births, and even death. Musical traditions have been shared from generation to generation throughout history, in the same fashion that we have shared and preserved mathematics and the sciences. The experience of music is one that embodies the human experience, representing a piece of the puzzle of human nature and preservation. “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything (Plato).”
The humanistic experience teaches individuals to grow and learn and develop, allowing for future innovations, dreams, and desires. Plato once said: “Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.” As a global society it is the responsibility of the community to preserve and further expand aspects of society in all areas of study. As our educational and societal systems are based on those set in Ancient Greece we must remember that the focus is not on assessment but on training the entire person, which includes education of the mind, body, and imagination. The view of education must be focused on lifelong learning and exploring in all areas of study, and the acceptance of the responsibility to share and respect all knowledge in the global community.
Education by interpretation of the Greek model must not be limited to traditional classroom settings but must be learned and cultivated through the journey of experiences. The depth of education must explore the deepest regions of one’s self and their being. Scripturally music is depicted as a connection of one’s soul to the Creator, this may be seen in “Colossians 3:16 ESV (English Standard Version) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” The responsibilities of education are not to be reflected in only an academic setting but also through moral conduct. Our purpose in educating and communing with each other is to set forth a standard in cultivating a complete human experience and individual.
“Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere. It is not enough to have the power of concentration, but we must have worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. It is not enough to know truth, but we must love truth and sacrifice for it (Martin Luther King Jr).” The importance of a clear vision for what future we plan for our children and ourselves is pivotal in the continual successes of our educational endeavors. The things that we do today will mirror the tomorrow that is to come, “Education is teaching our children to desire the right things (Plato)”, as a community it important to set values, expectations, and a course of obtaining so that our future may be preserved as envisioned. Rome was not built in a day but when it fell it burned in one. It is crucial that opportunities to educate and learn are not taken in advantage of but cherished like a treasure.
In viewing education we must realize the importance of mentorship. It is crucial as educators that we modal our approach to students as apprentices in the school of life. It is not fulfilling or holistic to focus our teaching on what has largely been perceived as core curriculum subject matter, but we must focus on the development of the complete person within our classrooms and communities. As once said by Martin Luther King Jr “Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere. It is not enough to have the power of concentration, but we must have worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. It is not enough to know truth, but we must love truth and sacrifice for it.” It is the responsibility of all people to consider the moral compass and shaping of all children and individuals within a society, without such considerations the world would slowly enter a state of chaos and confusion stifling any hopes of truly educating our youth. I firmly encourage the sacrifice it takes to invest in the fellow man. If we expect our children, neighbors, society, and even the world to function at its highest level, each part must connect in some way to the other. There must be the realization on how we are all interconnected and deeply affect the existence of one another.
In addition to the mental and psychological approach necessary to prepare students to succeed by using the tools available to their advantage. I am a firm believer in the practice of effective communication whether written or aural. It is crucial to help students organize and communicate their thoughts in an effective manner conducing to their personal and professional goals. It will be expected that all students execute a resume and cover letter as if applying for a job in their career of focus; this will be used in efforts of creating opportunity for practical application of communication skills. Students will also be responsible for the use of available technologies in their practice and professional preparation. Students will be expected to format professional websites and promotional materials. Studio, group, and lesson time will be used to assess the development of each student’s responsibilities. Students will also be encouraged to take the opportunity to teach and mentor in subject areas of interest. All will be guided in effective rehearsal techniques and will be required to conduct some form of rehearsal during their time under my instruction. These rehearsals will force students to improve in their listening skills, increasing their musical abilities.
In the efforts of cultivating the next generation in the preservation of education, it is my personal responsibility to cultivate meaningful memorable relationships with students, regardless if I have continual contact with them as a primary instructor or not. My teaching should not be limited to the areas of performance but should expand to affect the personal areas of each student and fellow faculty member. Personally I must make extensive efforts to give each person that I interact with the necessary time to see them personally develop as not only musicians but as complete human beings.
“Unless the schools provide our children with a vision of human possibility that enlightens and empowers them with knowledge and taste, they will simply play their role in someone else's marketing schemes. Unless they understand deeply the sources of our democracy, they will take it for granted and fail to exercise their rights and responsibilities (Diane Ravitch).” In regards to my own thoughts in all opportunities of mentorship whether academically or in a communal setting it is crucially important that I take the time necessary to cultivate and challenge the minds of the youth of today to critically think in an inquisitive manner. There are so many distractions vying for the attention of all within the community that it is more important now than ever that critical thinking skills are cultivated and mentored in efforts growing individuals that are able to think independently and are not blindly following what is being sold to them. It is crucial that the advocates of self are imbedded in the everyday affairs of their actions.
The responsibilities of education are global in its effect and affect. We must realize that it takes a community to raise a child not just an individual or regimented system. We must take the time to explore if we are to learn and discover what really matters. We must not limit ourselves with only experiencing book-fed information, but must explore and experience the world to the fullest of the opportunities provided. The most important thing in education is that we experience it, and live it daily. “Anything which can be called a study, whether arithmetic, history, geography, or one of the natural sciences, must be derived from materials which at the outset fall within the scope of ordinary life-experience. In this respect the newer education contrasts sharply with procedures which start with facts and truths that are outside the range of the experience of those thought, and which, therefore, have the problem of discovering ways and means of bringing them within experience (Dewey).”