Every young child has a dream about what they want to be when they grow up; most will say that they want to be a firefight, a princess, or a doctor. However, ever since I was eight years old, I knew that I wanted to be a music teacher when I grew up. For those who do not know, Music Education is a field of study that focuses on the teaching and learning of music.
Currently, I am a junior at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska where there are only 8 other students in my grade that are studying music education. At Doane College, the music education program is the most time-consuming major offered at Doane. Because we must complete a total of 54 credits to graduate, many students struggle with the heavy course work and time commitment. Not only do we study fields of music like theory, history, and conducting, but we also study topics in general education. Every education major at Doane College, whether they are studying music or not, must complete 5 hours
of practicum time in a classroom every week. Other requirements of the music education major at Doane are learning every wind, brass, percussion, and string instrument and passing a piano proficiency test by the time we student teach during senior year. We must also participate in musical ensembles like choir, band, or orchestra and take private lessons for our main instruments; I take private voice and piano lessons every week. During the junior year of study, every music education major must give a thirty minute recital that showcases his or her main instrument. The classwork is rigorous, but immensely worthwhile.
While researching for music education programs in Costa Rica, I found that the only program is offered at the University of Costa Rica. When beginning my research, I figured that more universities would offer music education or music degrees because the music in Costa Rica influences the culture of the country and its people. However, this is not the case. The Artes y Musicales portion of the University’s website only depicts the different areas of musical study like composition, the study of one’s instrument, conducting, and the teaching of music. The music education program offered at the University of Costa Rica is called Etapa Básica and is very similar to the program that Doane College offers its music education students. The students enrolled as music education majors at the University of Costa Rica learn how to play the various wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments as well as the integration of the study of educating children and adolescents in music. In this program, the students will be able to teach children of various age levels how to play instruments and how to conduct and lead a musical ensemble. Another aspect of the music education program at the University of Costa Rica is that the students learn how to teach music in a way that integrates culture and other artistic traits of one’s community in a classroom setting.
Even though the study of music education is not as popular in Costa Rica as it is in the United States, the colleges that offer that course of study are teaching its students how to become great and productive music teachers. Music teachers help facilitate the beauty throughout the world. As the singer, songwriter Jewel wrote, “Some people think music education is a privilege, but I think it’s essential to being human.” If music is a universal language that connects the world in a way that very few things can, than music education is the catalyst that helps to speed up the process.
“Escuela De Artes Musicales Universidad De Costa Rica.” Universidad De Costa Rica. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2013. <www.ucr.ar.cr>.
“Music Advocacy’s Top Ten Quotes.” Children’s Music Workshop. Music Education Online, 2013. Web. 29 July 2013. <www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy>.
Written By Taylor Anderson, Social Media Journalist