Start From the End, Don’t End at the Start

Over the past few days of this enlightening SMTE experience, I have been left with a persistent and nagging question… are we teaching our students to meet today’s standards, or are we empowering them to create tomorrow’s? For many, reflection on this will provide false security and validation. Unfortunately, many are chasing their tail, hoping for a new outcome and creative solution to the age old problems with music education. What if we didn’t try so hard to “solve” those problems? What if we stopped chasing our tail and just ran with the wind?

I can’t envision the musical opportunities that will exist in the next 5, 10, 20 years. A Freshman in college today could retire around 2060. How society interacts with music (creating, listening, etc.) has evolved at a rapid pace in the past decade. Assuming that pace continues (and most likely speeds up), we can’t imagine what the future holds. Therefore, how can we teach our students to facilitate a music class we don’t even understand?

If we start from the end, keeping music education as an open-ended and flexible idea, we can better prepare our students (and ourselves) for the future. Allow our students to be comfortable in open spaces where boundaries are not clearly defined. Where the only tradition is that we are not limited by traditions. Where the only expectation is that music is a part of the human experience and how that looks in a classroom is individualized, undefined, and unpredictable. And where tomorrow’s music is defined by tomorrow’s students. If we start from today and set a goal, we will achieve it (that is the nature of goals). If we start from the end and envision that there is no end, then we are better positioned to teach the future educators today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

soundmarker

listening and sound education, creative music making

The Breathing Blog

A musician's guide to healthy breathing

Christian Carichner

Tuba and Euphonium Artist, Multi-Faceted Educator, and Advocate for the Arts

chriscross11

...yeah, I have an opinion about that.

TubaHead

John Manning's Blog

Steven Bryant - Events

Husband . Father . Musician . Educator

Musical Futures

Musical Futures is a movement to reshape music education driven by teachers for teachers