Students should be given opportunities to feel the music they enjoy
Students should be in charge of making musical decisions
The Monkees I entered my house after school, one day in second grade, to find my mother standing in the doorway with a new cassette tape of The Monkees. I was so excited. I immediately tore the package open and ran to my basement to listen to the songs from my favorite T.V. show. Instantly, I pretended that I was giving my own concert. I began to capture the expressive qualities of the song by singing, dancing, and playing the piano along with the music. I saw right through the basement walls and imagined an audience who was cheering for me throughout my performance. I began to arrange pretend concerts every day after school. The basement became my stage and I was constantly in search of new material to present to my "fans".
Can you recall songs, from your childhood, that you enjoyed singing and moving to?
In what way can these experiences contribute to deeper musical understandings?
Evaluate the importance of "feeling" experiences in the music classroom.
As an educator, how might you incorporate these kinds of expressive experiences in the classroom?
REFLECTING ON THIS STORY TODAY...
In this story, I was a music maker sharing musical thoughts and feelings. Although the audience was pretend, I was in the one in charge of making the musical decisions that exhibited my understandings of what Reimer called the ineffable. Although I did not know it at the time, the very act of singing, playing, and being center stage was, in fact, the embodiment of music as feeling. In chapter 3 or Reimer's A Philosophy of Music Education, Reimer points to the emotional dimension of music and states that "its power to make us feel, and to "know" through feeling- is probably the most important defining characteristic." Reimer continues to state that "Music education, in its attempts to make musical feeling more accessible and more deeply internalized, may be regarded as an education of feeling. Helping all people to "know within" music more effectively is a primary goal of the enterprise." Classrooms, I believe should be places where students can know through music making. As Eisner notes, the nature of schools is rooted in the historical traditions, values, an assumptions into which we have been socialized. Our traditional teaching of music rarely, if ever, seeks to educate the life of feeling. Eisner tells us that we ought to question the erroneous assumptions that we have long taken for granted. As a teacher, I have decided to do so and continue to envision a classroom that is a construction zone for understanding; a place to be and become.