Perhaps you are familiar with the This I Believe series launched by National Public Radio in 2005.
Essentially, it is forum for Americans from all walks of life to “share the personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives.”
An assignment my graduate students at VanderCook are required to complete is based on this radio series.
I’ve included below some bullet points from my own “This I Believe - Music Education” essay:
- I believe that music education is critical to developing a well rounded individual.
- I believe the lessons experienced and learned in an ensemble rehearsal has resounding positive effects on the social, emotional, physical and educational character of a student.
- I believe a student who is given an opportunity to contribute positively to an ensemble experience walks away with a myriad of life lessons that will be paramount to their development into compassionate, noble, successful and well-balanced beings of society.
- I believe the ensemble director is a leader and facilitator whose primary objective is to impart upon his/her students a passion for creativity and imagination.
- I believe that the difference between a good rehearsal and great one is rooted in the collective creativity and imagination of the ensemble.
- I believe programming is critical to motivating students to be engaged in the learning process.
- I believe an ensemble that possesses the highest of technical facility but lacks creativity and imagination will never achieve the most heightened of musical experience.
- I believe music education is for all students.
- I believe school districts that do not value a robust fine arts education offered to every single student is short changing their students’ ability to live life to its fullest and closing a door to very fruitful career opportunities.
- I believe students who engage in the arts from a young age have a leg up in all aspects of life.
- I believe a music teacher - a teacher of the arts - has the capacity to inspire, motivate and positively impact his/her students in a manner that may potentially transform their lives for the better.