Learn to Love the Process…

Mike and I are both members of the Olympia Symphony. On our hour long trek to rehearsals we talk about our programs. One night, Mike said something that was so profound, it changed my whole approach to teaching music. He said [I am paraphrasing] “I am not going to worry about having the greatest group in the world anymore. I am just going to try and instill a love for the music making process. I want to make rehearsals fun and fulfilling.” I thought, “That is the healthiest way of looking at this whole thing!” I immediately put this philosophy into practice, and all of a sudden I was a happier and more effective band teacher. My rehearsals are more productive, and the kids smile a whole lot more. I know that but only a few of my students will go on and become professional musicians or music teachers, but I think I have effectively garnered an appreciation for music and music making. All along the way, I have promoted excellent musicianship. And most of my students now look at music as a privilege and not a chore.

All in all, I think this is the healthiest my band has been. Are they as precise, and as in tune as I want them to be? No. But that doesn’t matter right now. What matters is, is that they are happy to be in my room for the time that they are there. And they make good use of the time they have with me.

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1 Comment

  1. tjweller said,

    February 17, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Mike,

    Thank you for blogging! You are going to find out as I did, this kind of forum really opens your eyes and ears in music education. It gives us the opportunity to get perspective and advice from so many of our colleagues. You are dead on – “The more the merrier!”

    I am a process teacher now. It took a number of years for me to get to this point, and that I look at it from this end, there is no turning back. If the process is fundamentally sound, the product will be awesome. No longer do I have a pressure cooked rehearsal after rehearsal all for the sake of an impeccable concert. I enjoy the process of helping my students 1) improve as musicians, 2) grow as people who value music and music education, and 3) develop a value system for music that will let them make intelligent choices once they leave my program.

    Show them love for music. Polish little moments in every song once a day so they recognize a moment of beauty, drama, excitement, or intrigue. Describe music to them as vividly as you can. Never be afraid to give them the keys to begin unlocking all the mysteries that music has to offer.

    I added your blog to my blogroll, and will be stopping back whenever I can. Best of luck to you and let’s keep the conversation going!

    Sincerely,
    Travis J. Weller

    PS – When you get a chance, visit Mustech.net. Contact Dr. Pisano about the ME Blogger Campaign – it will be well worth the visit.


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