My philosophy of music education deals with the education of the whole child. My goal as a public school music teacher is not to make every student a musician, but rather to expose students to music in a variety of styles and ways. I create a positive musical experience for my students so they will know how to appreciate music and be able to relate to music throughout their lives.

I utilize many different methods of teaching music, which are based on the different ways children naturally communicate. They use their voices to speak and sing, their bodies to move and dance. Students not only sing, but also learn to play simple instruments as they grow from musical imitation to improvisation and literacy.

Music is a wonderful medium through which we can foster our student’s appreciation of different interests and styles. Through music, we let them know that they have valuable contributions to make to their own lives and to our world. Students who have training in music learn by doing, not by watching someone else. They understand how the process effects the product. Music requires creative thinking and problem solving, as well as the ability to work individually and in a group.

It has been reported that the business world is looking for employees who know how to solve problems, think creatively, work well with others. In 1994, a large New York accounting firm reported that they interviewed about 40 MIT students. Of the 10 they hired, 4 had minors in the arts. This fact so significantly set these candidates apart that the firm is now using an arts minor as a screening criterion.

Today, with information expanding exponentially, no one can be taught everything they will need to know. Our children will need to know how to "think", problem solve and have the self-esteem to act on their decisions. Music and the arts are where they will learn these skills.

Katherine Eichenberger