We believe in creating conditions for students to do their best work. A great education goes beyond compliance, control, and extrinsic motivators. The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. However, autonomy is not independence; it is choice. With guidance from the director, students will be able to choose what assignments they do, when they do them, how they do them, and, in some instances, who they do them with.
Mastery is the desire to get better at something that matters. What a wonderful concept to adopt as a student musician! We, as teachers, are responsible for creating a learning environment that engages our students. Goals will be clear and feedback will be immediate. Students will exert themselves to reach these goals, and in doing so develop grit (positive exertion). In doing so, a desire for mastery is developed. This creates autotelic experiences, where the activity is it’s own reward, and therefore self-fulfilling. Students will develop a desire to master something because they find it deeply satisfying. Ultimately, the joy is in the pursuit of mastery more than in its realization.
One cannot lead a life that is truly excellent without feeling that one belongs to something greater and more permanent than oneself. Our goal as directors is to positively impact the lives of our students through music education. Having students involved in the music program will enable each student to make the most of this great opportunity. As a result, they will become better people and musicians, and develop their own purpose in life. Students will understand the need for more beauty in this world. The skills our students foster within the music program will inevitably transfer to other facets of their lives.
Through music, we wish to teach each child through autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Though music may not end up being their career, these learned concepts will transfer to all facets of their life. Students in music are often driven, intelligent, self-sufficient, and hardworking; we are trying to enhance their greatest attributes and teach our young musicians how to become successful in any line of work they may wish to enter after high school.
DEDICATED TO CHRISTIAN GORDON & KALYN TODD