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Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Friday, April 24, 2015 @ 12:03 am
A Tale of Two Teachers

Dear Blogger,

It has been a long day. In fact, it has been a long week! I'm starting to grow backlog and my routine is clearly affected. Before, I would get a healthy seven or eight hours of good sleep. Now, I'm sleeping late or I'm sleeping at odd hours.

It all started with Music & Movement. It's half of the Aesthetics and the Arts for Young Children module in the Bachelor programme I'm taking. The first half was Visual Arts, which surprisingly, I quite enjoyed considering my history of bad experience with visual arts classes. Memories of art classes in Secondary One and Two and the miserable marks I keep getting for my artwork still haunt me.

Why did I enjoy this Visual Arts class? Because the art teacher did what all teachers have been constantly drilled to do. He gave positive and constructive feedback rather than shoot us down for getting the technicals wrong. To be told that my artwork shows influence of Van Gogh is so much more encouraging than being told that my artwork needs whatever.

The teacher knows that we are not artists or artistically-trained. We will never be masters of visual arts in just three lessons, so why flog a dead horse? It's not to say that we're all wasting our time in his classes. I've learnt a lot about communicating to children about art and effective ways nurture creativity in children. That's what I want to learn! The arts is supposed to be open-ended and fun! If I'm caught up in the technicalities, how fun can that be???

That's precisely what happened in the music and movement class. The music teacher shot us down in the first session, so much so that her sessions become depressing even before she opens her mouth. We only had three sessions and all of them were about what we did wrong in our instruction. Her another mistake was to assume we know the music technicals. I don't even how to read beats in a bar, let alone read notes on a scale! I can read all about it, but how effective can it be without proper instruction, which she so conveniently left out to spend more time on criticising our teaching methods.

The music teacher even emphasised that she didn't care about the children. Her sessions were about us teaching the right things in music and movement. How about communication strategies with children about music and movement? Do we break their enthusiasm about music and movement just like the way she broke ours?

I am probably the most tone-deaf and stiff person out there when it comes to music and movement. I do love listening to music, but it doesn't mean I can sing or dance or play instruments. Already, I have a lot going against me in this subject. Why couldn't she be nice and encouraging instead of cementing the fact that I can't do music and movement at all? Isn't that what teachers are supposed to do?! In my preschool, we can't even be negative in our communication to children because that will be abusive.

Now, I'm terrified of music and movement. I wouldn't be able to sing or shake my arse to music in front of people. See what happens when you get teachers who are negative in their communication? Ironically, she labelled us as traditional when she herself used traditional methods of teaching. She went against all the principles of performing arts which she so strongly "believed" in. What are they?






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