This semester, especially in this class, and especially after reading the chapter in From the Stage to the Studio on Groups, Ensembles, Classrooms and Other Teaching Situations, I realize how important the skill of writing is. It has become obvious that honing the skill of writing is not only an advantage, but also a necessity to a professional career as a teacher and musician. The lesson plans, syllabi, grant and scholarship applications, recommendations, studies, articles, and books you mentioned in chapter 12 are the direct results of skillful, articulate writing.
As an undergraduate music major, I feel that the power of this skill set has not been communicated effectively, and isn’t reflected in our degree requirements. Up to this point I have written only one academic research paper in the 7 semesters spent at UT. In many classes quizzes, short answer exams, and attendance make up a grade for the entire semester, without even the mention or encouragement of writing as a tool for learning or assessment. The irony is that it is often in these classes that I am reading a textbook, course packet, and slides written by the professor.
A professional goal of mine is to have something to contribute to the field of music education. Whether I teach orchestra in schools, as an academic professor, or as in private studio, I want to have something significant to communicate to those who are also teaching. Though I don’t know what that significant something is, I am realizing that regular writing practice now in order to one day communicate clearly is imperative.
String Pedagogy this semester has helped to get the cursor moving. By tackling substantial subjects such as sequencing, practice, and musicianship, I feel confident in breaking down each topic into practical, actionable, specific short essays. On my personal website I post regularly to a blog which shows my transition from student teacher (or perhaps more accurately, my lifelong embrace of both). However, I want to dedicate more time to daily practice, seek out opportunities for feedback on my writing, and pursue the path to publication. No matter where my career takes me, I know the sharpened skill of writing will be a powerful tool to have at my command.