Wednesday, May 25, 2016

All of the Above

What do my colleagues and I strive for in the music classes we teach at The San Francisco School? For starters, a safe place to take risks, connections with their classmates, exposure to music they might not have discovered on their own, a relaxed and fun atmosphere, developing useful and key musical skills, feeling the joy and excitement of performing concerts in public and so on. I promised in yesterday’s blog to share some of the students’ responses and here they are. Did the kids get what we hoped they would? Which of the qualities above did they notice on their own?

Seems like the answer is “All of the above.”  Here are some of their responses to the question: WHAT WAS MEMORABLE AND VALUABLE ABOUT YOUR WHOLE EXPERIENCE IN THE MUSIC PROGRAM? (See yesterday’s blog for the other questions.)

• It was a relaxed and fun class. The atmosphere in the class and the class itself is something I won’t find anywhere else. I love this class. I’m not the best musician so I didn’t think I would enjoy music, but boy, was I wrong! Thank you for three amazing years.

• Learning all types of music from different cultures and learning from the Interns from all over the world—I loved it!

• The whole process: from body music and patterns to classical music and memorization to jazz and improvisation.

• I liked collaborating with all these memorable people.

• I feel that I have gotten an incredible music education during my three years here. I have gotten to try new things that I had never even heard of before. This class made me more adventurous and willing to try new things.

• I got over my stage fright by being on stage during the Spring Concert. And that was one of the most valuable things I have ever overcome

• I think that my musical experience at SFS has helped me gain appreciation for some things I might have never appreciated otherwise.

• It was very memorable in general because it was my first time learning music in-depth in a group. I will definitely remember the San Diego performance because it felt more high stakes and it was amazing to perform in front of a huge group of people for the first time. Thank you so much for a great year and teaching me an insane amount of musical skills in such a short time! (This was from a new 8th grade student who was only with us one year.)

• I think it was really awesome that we got to explore all the odds and ends of different types of music, from world music to classical to jazz and all around. My 11 years at the school have been a roller coaster of good and bad times, but I know that I always had the music program to escape to.

• All of the concerts, especially the last piece this year because it was the last piece I’ll ever play here. It was special to play it with my whole class.

• Each year, I got to express myself in a safe space through music. I got to experiment in what music I liked. Going through each year at the concerts is very memorable because it symbolizes that I have improved from the year before. Thanks for sticking with us for all 11 years!

• Being able to play music in a safe place with my peers has been a truly amazing experience. The music program at SFS is one of the last parts of this school that stays true to the mission and is similar to how the school first was. I will miss being able to play xylophones at SFS.   

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