I love teaching my students new things. My students are very diverse. We have a very blended population, including students from very different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. Last year our school enrollment was near 1000 students, grades 6-8. Our ethnic statistics reflected the following percentages: 22.7% Hispanic-American, 52.3% Caucasian-American, 18.6% African-American, and 6.4% other. Currently we have 53.64% male population to 46.36% female. The poverty index for my school is 64.3%. We also have a large population (23%)of students who are learning English as a second language.
I love watching students discover things about themselves they never thought were possible.
They are so engaged and excited about learning to play an instrument, read, and perform music. I love when students walk in class and say they look forward to this class all day long. I love being able to provide a safe space for students to learn and explore, not just music, but themselves and their own possibilities. I don't teach music;I teach children through music.
This school year our 8th grade students will have the chance to learn the basics of playing the guitar. This is a hands-on performance-based class where students ranging from no musical experience to experienced musicians can learn the technique, notation reading, and experience what it feels like to be a rock star! Guitar is an instrument all of my students are familiar with, no matter what their musical tastes. It is an instrument they are familiar with and can relate to their daily lives.
By offering guitar as a class, it gives students an opportunity to explore and experience their own music in a different way.
Through this course, students are learning about the technique required for many different musical genres, including rock, pop, classical, jazz, blues, flamenco, folk, and country. As my school has such a diverse culture, this class will allow many students to explore their own music, as well as the music of others which they may not be as familiar with. Through project funding, we now have a guitar for each student in the class. I am struggling to teach correct posture and comfortable playing without the proper footrests to aid in instruction. Students are often unable to reach certain notes and chords due to the inability to hold the guitar at the proper angle without a footrest. These are small staples to a classical guitar instruction which make a big difference in both comfort and proper technique.
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