Many people have heard the expression, "when words fail, music speaks." Many of my students have first languages that are not English, many of my students have not learned how to express what they're thinking, and many of my students do not fit the mold of the "perfect" student that always does what is expected of them. While my students face these obstacles in their daily lives, it is in my music class that the stress dissolves and they can be themselves. In my room, students do not have to speak but can instead play the few instruments we have, dance, sing, and be themselves.
My students are resilient, smart, and they have a lot that they want to share with the world.
This year, every grade will be learning new instruments, and my goal is to have all of them writing their own songs so that they can share their stories of bravery and overcoming. I cannot wait to hear what they create.
I want to acquire a classroom set of guitars for my students because it provides them an opportunity to play an instrument that will nurture a life-long love of music. I chose the guitar for two main reasons. First, the majority of my student population is Latino/Latina, and the guitar is a culturally relevant instrument due to the popularity of mariachi music. Second, the guitar is a versatile instrument that can be played alone, in small or large group ensembles, and guitars are readily available in many settings.
My ultimate goal for my students is to enhance their love of music, and help them reach a level of musicianship to where they consider themselves musicians.
When I teach my students the trumpet or the violin, I am teaching them valuable skills, but I am fully aware that after they leave school, their access to these instruments is severely limited. They are more expensive for one to purchase for themselves, and they are not typically available in social settings the way guitars are.
My students are incredibly motivated and intelligent, and I know that if we had guitars, students would go home to their parents and tell them about music. They would go home and ask to play their parents' guitar to practice and perform. They would try to find their favorite song online to learn it on their own. This is ownership, this is students being autonomous learners. This is my goal, and with a class set of guitars I know that I can help my students develop the musicianship skills they need to be confident performers and musicians.
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