Benjamin Coria
Music Instructor, Grades 5-8

    When I reflect on my personal philosophy of education, I recall two quotes.  First, Maya Angelou is credited for stating: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Second, Bill Evans, the famous jazz pianist, said, “intuition has to lead knowledge, but it can’t be out there on its own...” 
    This year, I inherited a music program that emphasized popular music and an abridged abstraction of music theory.  Most students have not yet participated in formal music training.  The program I inherited responded
well to the Maya Angelou quote; however, it was remiss in its attention to the fundamentals of music.
    Though many have developed a strong interest in music through the old program, they do not know how to read musical notation, and have misconceptions about music or do not yet understand that it is a logical, systematic language that anyone can learn.  My goals for these students are to correct their misconceptions; develop their ability to recognize, understand and describe the basic materials and processes of music; and to develop their ability to express themselves with their voices or instruments in the context of a performing ensemble.

Why I Teach: My Education Philosophy


Developing as a Professional Educator

I plan to broaden and refine my skills for working with exceptionally unmotivated students over the next year.  There are many reasons students become exceptionally unmotivated.  Thus, I plan to address affective development as well as cognitive development.  My first step is to explore affective development.  So far, I've collected  seminal works of theory on affective development, but few practical resources.

The most useful means for assessment is direct feedback from students.  I plan to survey students over the next few years to gather responses about feelings toward music curriculum and activities.  My connections with professional and educational organizations like Chorus America and the National Association for Music Education will help me to stay on task.

I am motivated to continue working hard after our recent successful music festival, which my mentor called a "slam dunk."  The festival was successful because of the preparation involved.  My advice to new music teachers is directly related to this: prepare!

Student Work



Resources

MusicTheory.net by Ricci Adams
I use this website to provide students with instant-feedback exercises and to assess their progress.  My favorites assignments are customized versions of the note, keyboard note, interval and chord identification exercises that I created. Click here to try the keyboard note quiz.

SoundCloud.com
I use this service to host rehearsal tracks for my choir students.  I create the rehearsal tracks using Apple's Logic Pro X.  The piano part is recorded softly underneath the featured part, which is played by an electric piano or clavichord.