Gregory J. Kane • Graduate Process Folio
Presented as partial fulfillment of a Masters Degree of Music in Music Education
Ithaca College  • Summer 2007
Effective music teaching requires many different personal skills and abilities.  Having been a music teacher and band director in the New York State public school system for five years, I am quite pleased to be a work in progress.  I have experienced proud musical achievements, battled through disciplinary thorns, and have hopefully influenced the musical lives of many of my former and present students.

As a result of my coursework at Ithaca College, I have further realized my potential as a music teacher.  Becoming more aware of learning theories, educational philosophies, contemporary and historical viewpoints of music education, and educational psychology have changed me in ways that ultimately helped me become a better teacher.  I have reinforced my commitment to remain open minded, to purposefully present content in meaningful ways to my students, and to do so through the use of high quality and appropriate repertoire.  Continuing to refine my pedagogy is essential towards my continued success as a music teacher.

These are the core components that direct my teaching:

Philosophy of Music Education - My Musical Credo.
Students should learn about and experience music in ways that are meaningful to them. (Constructivism, Ausubel)  All children should mature to become adults who appreciate and value music as unique affective art form.  Meaningful musical experiences should be encouraged and developed in ways that are cognitively stimulating and personal to each student.  At the center of the instrumental music education experience we should find the student. (Montessori)  The band will not enjoy the fruits of their learning for long, however the achievements of the individual can be relished forever. 

Music effects everyone on earth, and is a highly accessible shared experience that can help foster creative thinking, compassion amongst fellow citizens, and an important element of humility.   Children should have musical experiences in schools that are enjoyable for their purest, unexplainable reasons.  (Humanism, Gestalt)   Experiences like this will help them mature in ways that will further their civil-mindedness and encourage them to become artistically considerate citizens.  

Educational Pedagogy - How to deliver.
The style in which students are taught is a direct reflection of a teacher’s pedagogy.  There is never only one approach to teaching content and furthermore there are rarely two learners that learn in identical ways. (Multiple Intelligences, Modalities)  Establishing a classroom where students feel safe and free to interact with course content is the foundation for creating meaningful learning scenarios. (Humanism)

Psychological Awareness - Acknowledging differences.
Music educators must understand different teaching methodologies as well as different learning styles.  No two learners are the same, therefore music educators must use their understanding of the human psyche to constantly mold their instructional techniques to each individual student.  Understanding and reflecting on why I teach the way that I do has been important to me. 

Musicianship and Musical Patronage - Passion is essential.
As a music teacher, honed artistry underlies and helps direct instruction.  Music teachers must remain active and energized as musicians.  Students must be taught in ways that will help them develop into future musicians and patrons of the arts; teachers must lead by example.  Furthermore, we must recognize that we live in a society that offers us the freedom to appreciate all types of musical experience.

Community Awareness - Caring and balancing.
It has been said that “no man is an island.”  This is certainly true in music education.  Music teachers, specifically those who work with high school performing ensembles, must acknowledge and appreciate their support systems: students, parents, colleagues, custodians, administrators, and of course - immediate family members.  They can all impact the outcome of music education and a music program.  It is crucial that music teachers uphold high levels of social dignity and that they are aware of and thankful towards their supporters.