As part of my personal teaching philosophy, I believe that music is a medium that can reach each and every person in the world in some way, no matter how small or big that may be. Every year I make it my goal to do that for my students, whether it’s the student who feels that music “just isn’t their thing” or the student who already has big dreams to win NBC’s “The Voice” or become a symphony orchestra super star. For that reason, I strive to expose my students to a wide variety of mediums each year in music so that there will always be something that they can bond with. Before they leave my class, my students can say they have experienced world music, travelled through musical time periods, and have been composers, innovators in music, and even scientists. Through singing, dancing, and performing on Orff instruments, percussion instruments, recorders, and ukuleles, my students leave as true performers of music, with the teamwork and critical thinking skills that each of those things require. Music teaches responsibility, adaptability, perseverance, and dedication. Through those things, it instills confidence. By giving my students the performing opportunities and tools to be successful musicians, I know that they will leave with ability to be successful in whatever they may choose to do in life, even if they don’t pursue music later on. Within FMEA and FEMEA, I strongly believe in giving teachers the tools to help them achieve this in their own classrooms. Just as with my personal teaching philosophy, my vision for FEMEA is that we provide teachers with the resources needed to give their students that feeling of success and musicianship, so that we can reach all of our students in some way, no matter how big or small. Professional development is vital for teachers to be able to strengthen their educational foundation and keep the joy of music alive in their classrooms. I believe in the power of our All-State and regional chorus and Orff ensembles and how these ensembles give students a once in a lifetime experience that will help them be successful in many other areas of their lives.
In my vision for FEMEA, I would like to continue the development of these ensemble experiences to provide meaningful enrichment for our young Florida musicians. Finally, through professional development and our performing ensembles, I envision that we use these components to strengthen music advocacy in our state. If our members have incredible conference experiences and leave with a renewed spark, they will be our very best advocacy resources as they take back that spark to their classrooms and pass it along to their students. While only a select few are working behind the scenes to achieve this, it is truly our teachers in the field that are our best advocates for music education because they are passing the passion and knowledge on to their students. When our administrators, school districts, and our community members see this knowledge and love of music exuding from our students, it is the best proof of the importance of music in our schools.