Essay on Students ' Literacy And Musical Skills Benefit From Reading

Essay on Students ' Literacy And Musical Skills Benefit From Reading

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In a band, orchestra, or choir room, it is a rare occasion when students are expected to sit down and read text to support their learning. Still, both students’ literacy and musical skills benefit from reading in music classes. As an educator, I am first passionate about my students’ development as musicians, but I am also a proponent of a well-rounded education. Students should develop skills in all areas, both academic and social, so they can best succeed in life. Working literacy skills into music curriculum and emphasizing the importance of students’ reading and writing abilities allows students more opportunities to develop musicianship, articulate their opinions and understanding of music, and expand their knowledge of music vocabulary, history, and purpose.
For most activities I intend to use in band rehearsals, a student’s reading ability is not an immediate concern. In general, the student’s ability to read notated music outweighs their need to read words and sentences. That being said, music reading and word reading are very similar cognitive skills, so if a student struggles to read words, they may struggle to read their music in rehearsal. Knowing that a student has a lower reading ability and having an understanding of their background can help me identify potential issues before we begin any activities.
There were few occasions in my high school and middle school band classes in which I needed to read anything more than a sentence or two at a time. I never had any extended reading assignments out of textbooks or trade books and my ability to read music, not words, was what my teachers viewed as important. The only assignment that I can recall from middle school band that required reading was a brief re...


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...about our performances. The idea of study skills is also similar to practice skills, as I will teach my students practice techniques and expect them to practice their instruments at home.
Overall, a student’s achievement in my classroom could go either way when it comes to their reading abilities. Students could succeed in my classroom despite reading and writing issues, because it is not the focus of my classroom. At the same time, struggles with reading and writing may correlate to struggles with reading and writing music, in which case the student may not be able to succeed quite so easily. As a teacher, I will be flexible in planning activities that will best suit my students learning styles, needs, and interests. While reading will not be the core of my band rehearsals, I will continue to encourage reading as a life skill and as an opportunity for enjoyment.

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