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Stephanie Goering

Content Standard 4

The teacher of PK-12 music has skills in listening to, analyzing, describing, and performing

Listening to, analyzing, describing and performing music are four of the main teaching skills that
are applied in a typical music classroom. While these skills are usually developed over a period
of time, they are sometimes put on the back burner as reading, writing and creative musical skills
take the lead. However, analyzing, performing and responding are some of the most crucial skills
that make up a well-rounded musician. Because of my experiences in developing and utilizing
these skills, my students will be provided with a strong foundation on which to grow their
Out of all of these important skills, performance skills began to develop first during my
musical career. I played at my first piano recital when I was 7 years old, my very first solo
performance. Over the years I have been able to perform in various settings and in front of all
different kinds of audiences, from performing with a show choir to high school students, to
singing a solo at Carnegie Hall. I have been able to be a part of different kinds of ensembles
throughout my career as well, giving me the opportunity to experience to sing and perform with
people of all ages. As far as analyzing goes, I fostered most of those skills at the collegiate level,
through my theory classes. We often analyzed works of music based on form, harmonic analysis,
key signatures, and style. Listening and describing music has always been an integral part of my
musical experiences, especially in the choral setting. From a young age, my teachers and
directors focused on a sense of ensemble, meaning we listened to the people around us to
develop the most unified sound we could. In my collegiate experience, we often did what the
directors coined as rehearsing, where we stand in a circle, mixing up voice parts, so we are
forced to listen and understand our parts in a different way. Also in my collegiate experience, we
focused a lot on listening. In the choirs I was involved in, we would often listen to recordings of
the pieces we were singing, compare and contrast them, and describe what we thought was
successful in their performance and translate it to ours.
Through these experiences, I will provide students with opportunities to foster their skills
in listening, describing, analyzing and performing, as well as create an environment to use their
skills in different situations. I also want my students to become active listeners, meaning they are
always aware of the sounds around them, and constantly adapting their personal sound to
promote the blend of the ensemble they are performing with. One way to do this would be to
record my choir singing one of their pieces about halfway through the unit, and then have them
respond to their performance. My students will be able to use their knowledge of musical
concepts to describe what they hear and what they can improve upon. One lesson I have taught
was how music can effect our emotions. The students had to come up with different songs that
made them feel certain emotions, and explain why they felt that way based on musical concepts,
such as tempo, timbre, dynamics and mode. Because of the unique experience I have had with
the rehearsing technique, I will use similar strategies in my classroom to help my students
understand their function in the music, and one way to do that is through solfege. Solfege is a
great analysis tool, because it allows the student to understand what purpose their part is serving
in a particular chord or section of a piece. As far as performing goes, my experiences working
with many different kinds of ensembles will allow my students with the opportunity to perform
many different kinds of pieces with many different ensembles, whether that be with the high
school orchestra, or a community choir.
Overall, my experiences developing and fostering these skills will allow my students to
grow their skills to the highest potential, because of the many opportunities I will give them to
practice listening, analyzing, describing and performing.