By Andrew Licht, Wiley Middle School
Last year, my sites for ArtistCorps consisted of reaching kids from grade K through 5th. I have learned many techniques in order to start kids on a string instrument. It is really interesting, and kind of funny, but teaching music is very similar to being a doctor. When I see an issue that a student is having in learning their music, or a technical problem of playing the violin, I have a number of practice solutions to prescribe to them in order for them to reach their goals.
This year, I also serve at a middle school. It is extremely helpful because I am able to see what the teacher expects there, and I am able to learn how to prepare the students at the elementary school better in order to succeed in middle school. The largest problem I see is note reading. Have always believed it was important, but now I am understanding just how important it is. It is crucial for a student to learn how to read music and how it relates to what finger to place down on the violin. If the child can read and understand music, then they are able to be more independent in their practice. This independence is a very important trait to have, not just in music, but with every subject. As a teacher, I am much more strict with students in making sure that they are reading their notes, and learning how to read the music.