Straight Talk on Student-Centered Music Classes

In episode 56, Kathryn and Theresa talk to Tom Chester and Justin Johnson, music educators and ensemble directors from Illinois. The discussion revolves around the concept of student-centered learning in the realm of music education. Both Tom and Justin emphasize the importance of equipping students with the tools to think critically and independently about music. They highlight the pitfalls of traditional teaching methods that often prioritize performance preparation over genuine musical understanding. By drawing parallels to other academic subjects and real-life scenarios, they advocate for a teaching approach that empowers students to make informed decisions about musicality, expression, and technique. The conversation underscores the value of fostering a lifelong appreciation and understanding of music beyond the confines of the classroom or a specific performance.

The biggest thing to remember is that student-centered learning has to put the students first...

Here are some key takeaways from our interview with Tom Chester and Justin Johnson:

  • Student-centered learning empowers deeper understanding in music education.
  • Tools for critical thinking are essential for musical independence.
  • Traditional teaching often overlooks genuine musical comprehension.
  • As music educators, we should aim to nurture a lifelong passion and grasp of music.

Connect with Tom and Justin to learn more about their work:

Ready for more?

You can check out the full interview on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform. Or you can listen right here, on Spotify Podcasts!

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