We are here to do exactly that… We will stir and push and prod… We are here to bring them love and love, it stirs, it churns, and it inspires and breathes life. Stir away!”
Ever since learning about Critical Pedagogy, I have done everything I could do put it into practice. Let me tell you… The results have been out of this world…
And it’s not really that we have perfected all of the notes and rhythms… Because there are definitely still some rough passages… But, there has been a culture shift in my program and it is really coming to light as we prepare for our concert.
The third school that really struck me was the most frustrating. It was a group of students from a poor school. So many of their issues had to do with crummy instruments, an unfortunate lacking of a bass player, and just poor circumstances. This was really ugly and frustrating. And so… I decided to write about it…
Bellies and buttcracks and wayyyyy too much skin pouring over jeans…. I had NO idea…. Now I do… Now I realize why my students think it’s ridiculous when I ask them to wear longer shorts… I understand that cursing is the norm rather than the exception within my school… And that my students are kind of angelic in comparison! This gives me so much insight into what my own students deal with every day and how drastically things have changed
thinking about starting up a new strings program in your district?…. 90% of the participants reported an increase in the overall enrollment in music programs within their district once a new strings program started
The emphasis on performance did quite a number on me, to the point that I still have insecurities about my own abilities on my instruments.
The results of this study show a significant decrease in self-esteem over time for females and an increase in self-esteem for males. It is interesting to note that while there were significant differences between gender in self-esteem, there were not significant differences in ethnicity, nor in socioeconomic status.
In some cases, the students even were able to re-define themselves instead of as “criminal,” into “musician.” One of the inmates even said, “Instead of getting in trouble, just sitting there and play tunes, and stuff.” One student was so effected that he went so far as to dream about “helping out in the community, yeah. Helping other people learn music. Yeah, teach them,”
So that the students feel so at home in your group that their identity transforms from “student” into “musician,” or “violinist,” or my favorite: “orch dork!” You will find that attrition becomes obsolete the more your students identify with your class, your room, and the culture you have created.