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Casey E Lelake

My Philosophy of Music Education 

I believe that all of my students have the right to enjoy music for the rest of their lives. As a music educator, it is my job to teach them how to do so. This includes young students through the adult student, regardless of their desire to be a professional musician, their level of talent, or their culture or economic standing.

I seek to create an environment that fosters growth in musical arenas as well as nonmusical arenas. To this end, I follow the Carl Orff approach that uses nonmusical ideas such as improvisation, spoken word, movement, and play as a means to learn musical concepts. While this is not how I was taught in music class, it is why I went into the field of music education.

It is important to me to foster an environment in my music class that encourages students to thrive at what they naturally excel at musically and expand on those areas. More importantly, it is my job to support students in areas where they feel insecure; to teach them that it is okay to try something even if you're not "good at it." I constantly strive to catch my students doing something right – anything right – and to point it out to them.

I want to broaden minds, to encourage students to think outside of the box musically, to listen to music that they might not normally be drawn to, and then to be able to describe why they like it and or dislike it.

Finally, I want to teach my music students life lessons: how to be a human in a world that sometimes lacks humanity; how to work with others and invite other ideas; how to work independently and be brave enough to ask for help; how to create and appreciate creations.

I want my students to look back on their experiences in my music room as fun, challenging, and interesting; as a relief from other subjects in school that they may or may not need a break from.

Above all, the most crucial thing to me as an educator is for my students to look back on their time in my class and remember feeling safe. Safe to experiment, to take risks, to be wrong, to be right, to sing off-key, to make mistakes, to play wrong notes, to play correct notes, and to live through moments where they might feel uncomfortable. This is more important to me as a teacher than anything else. I truly feel blessed that I have the chance to work with children as my profession, and I believe that it is my duty to provide this safe place for them in my room.

 

I would love to hear from you with questions or concerns. 

Best, Casey Lelake  c.lelake@loma.k12.ca.us