By John Gardner
A major role of a music facilitator is to provide a safe, encouraging environment where students can discover and experience the mechanical fundamentals of music theory and performance so that they can understand a composer’s intentions and add their personal interpretation and emotion into turning written music into audio (sometimes visual) art while always striving for a higher level of excellence.
Teaching, however, is about more than “just” the academics and artistic value of music. Students are so much more than instruments into which we are supposed to dump vast amounts of data. I want to help students realize a love and appreciation for the art of music that they can utilize as a performer or audience member for the rest of their lives. I want to earn their admiration and respect so that they will trust that I am more than just a knowledge provider. I want them to see me as a mentor who cares as well as a proficient musician and life coach. I want to provide a safe environment that maintains the level of control necessary in a music ensemble while also encouraging emotional and artistic expression and contribution. I want them to learn from what I show them, from each other, from competitive experiences as well as from their mistakes along the way. I want them to desire and strive for excellence in music and in everything they do. I want them to appreciate their community and to want to give back to those whose support they need in entertaining performances and projects.