Instrumental Music Education
The Music Education students at Wayne State University gain real world, on-thejob- work experience as seniors during their pre-student teacher and student teacher internships and as juniors in their two-semester Music in the Schools classes. During field experiences, our students have the opportunity to experience how the theories studied in class actually affect the practice of teaching.
The highlight of the year for the juniors is their 8-week service project, the Wayne State University Home School Music Project. The project is part of the WSU ArtsDetroit program and is designed for homeschooled students to experience a beginning band class. In addition to having a hands-on learning experience with classroom skills, the students are responsible for interacting with the homeschoolers’ parents in order to build intrapersonal and administrative skills. At the end of the program, the homeschoolers present a concert for their parents and WSU music students. Natalie Frakes (Instrumental Music Education, B.M. 2014) stated “Having so much experience in methods class, outside of the classroom, was so invaluable and very unique in comparison to other music education programs. Each field experience was different from the other with different ensembles, classroom settings, communities, and demographics. Having so much exposure to different settings has given us the knowledge and experience we need within an ever-changing field.”
WSU student teachers begin by shadowing a cooperating teacher and then gain more responsibilities throughout the semester. By the last few weeks of the internship, the students assume many of the teaching responsibilities including classroom management, lesson planning, delivering instruction, and assessment. Greg Martinez (Instrumental Music Education, B.M. 2014) illustrates how student teaching is a transformative and vital part of preparing teachers. “Student teaching is an excellent experience as long as you put 150% into everything you possibly can. The more you do during student teaching, the more you will get out of the experience, and the more you will grow as a teacher.” Tamara Schemke (Vocal Music Education, B.M. 2014) agrees, “Pre-student teaching was everything I learned in the past 4 years in music school rolled into one semester. Lesson plans, transposing, composing, aural skills, classroom management,
and organizational skills were all used in full force.”
The students in the Wayne State University Music Education program are learning so many important skills that go beyond the traditional college classroom setting. The training that they are receiving at WSU will undoubtedly assist them in becoming the best and brightest educators possible.