In the present music students in the University of Florida have very little interaction with orchestra and band programs in public school system. The students are limited to class work with little exposure to the outside or rather the public education. The University of Florida should therefore organize to create a program in which music students can volunteer in music education in middle and high schools. The program should allow them to do the volunteering in exchange for college elective credits. These elective courses are in most cases not necessary in the majors of the students since they are have very little or no relation at all. The students should also be allowed to do performance to build their career in exchange for college credit (Rossi 76-82).
The current program which does not give the students opportunity to interact with the public in terms of music education and performance has a couple of limitations. Students are limited to class work only because that is what earns them credits. They do not gain experience n their careers especially those who want to become music teachers in future (Taylor 74). They are only allowed to teach during their last semester of the finical year which is quiet late. They should be allowed to teach early enough in their coursed so as to gain confidence and experience (Danielewicz 23-25). Students can only volunteer if the community hours they used to teach in the middle and high schools can make up for six credits of electives related to their course. These electives are sometimes not necessary for the student's majors. Orchestra and band programs are very healthy for music students since they get exposed to all types of music for example jazz and classical music. University students should then volunteer in teaching these programs in order to gain professional experience (Duminy 56).
The relationship between theory and practical in music education should be considered important so that students are able to realize the professional linking that exists between the university and the public high schools. These high schools are there future places of work. According to Duminy voluntary teaching will give the students a pre-service training where they face the reality of music education and performance (Taylor 77). This therefore a good opportunity for the students to put into practice the theories they learn in college (Duminy 65). They will get exposed to several teaching methods with the guide of experience teachers. University of Florida should therefore consider giving music students of six credits in exchange of a voluntary teaching practice. This way the students will be more equipped and competent. They get exposed to the outside world, away from classroom and their professors. In their voluntary teaching they will also get to acquire other professional activities other than teaching experience (Danielewicz 30).
Since it is not easy to make students do a voluntary program, students should be motivated to getting involved in these programs (Duminy 98). The best way to convince them into participating is give them six credits in exchange to the community hours they serve in voluntary teaching. This way they will see as a sort of relief to their class work. Also the University of Florida will allow for them to replace the elective courses with these community hours. This way the students will be happy to participate since the electives are not really related and in some cases unnecessary. These electives could be boring to the students so they might opt for the community service. They get a break out of class work to build their teaching skills.
A voluntary based class does not require text books. This can be another motivating factor to the students since they do not have to buy textbooks hence cutting on cost. Students can save money they could have used to purchase textbooks, writing materials and other learning materials, hence a persuading factor. Students will also be excited staying away from monotony where they are the listeners and now become the instructors. They would want to experience how it feels to teach small sister and brothers. Another motivating factor would be for the university to organize transport to the volunteering centers. This way, students will save on gas which they use to school daily. These are some of the motivating factors that can be used to lure students into participating in the voluntary teaching program (Rossi 86-90).
This program will greatly benefit the community in that middle and high school students will have more interest in music when they are taught by university students. They will take instructions from them as if they were their big brothers and sisters. They will want to be like the university students one day. Their passion for music education will be greatly enhanced. Their interest in learning classical music will be motivated by the fact that their teachers are almost their age mates (Rossi 95). They will tend to give more attention to the young teachers than the old ones they are used to especially in the fact that the college students are those who worked hard and performed well in high school for them to join the university. The middle and high school students would want to get advice from the university students on the ways to success; this will be a great motivating factor to learning classical music. The voluntary teaching on orchestral and band programs by university students will have a great impact on the learning in the public school system (Swanwick 16). The college student have fresh memories from their high school encounters and will have the best method to make sure the students they are teaching understand music to the best.
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Having university students to participate in a voluntary teaching program enables them to face different cultural diversities. That is students can be posted to volunteer in a cross cultural basis. This way student will get an opportunity to interact with different cultures and social classes. Students can then be able to learn different cultures hence building their experience (Taylor 75). This way they will not have difficulties coping with their future places of work. The demand to produce highly teachers today calls for this early practice. Teachers are supposed to adapt to the rapidly changing society, therefore they should get involved to the society as much as possible. The university student in the voluntary teaching should be flexible to cultural and social status diversities in the society (Swanwick 25).
Teaching environment is a key feature in music education. For the university students to collaborate professionally in the teaching environment they should have been exposed to teaching practicum. Through the program of orchestra and band programs in the public school system, students will acquire rich interactive skills whose theories they have learned in class. They will be able to face real challenges associated with teaching career and learn how to relatively solve them (Swanwick 34-36). This way the Music Education and Performance majors from University of Florida will be more competent and exposed as compared to other university students. Therefore university of Florida should consider this program as important as class work. The university should implement this program for the benefit of the community and its students (Rossi 123).
By implementing this program, University of Florida will contribute a lot to the community in terms of the service provided. One is because; since this program is voluntary based the middle and high school will not have to pay the university students. This will help the schools cut on cost of paying teachers to teach especially if there will be volunteers for every season. The schools will also benefit because they will be working with young professional who understand their students most and hence a better learning model (Willey 86). Since the college students are up to data and very flexible in terms of technology, the schools will utilize them to improve on teaching music. The middle and high school teachers will be relieved on what the college students can handle giving them time to concentrate on other technical issues. The teachers will also get to interact with young professional who not long ago were also high school students. This way they will get clues on the best teaching methods to implement for teenagers, the type of motivation to give the students and the best ways of communication to put into action later on their teaching profession (Rossi 30-32).
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However this voluntary teaching program has a few shortcomings upon implementation. Most of the middle and high school do not provide teaching materials to the voluntary teachers on practice. This will be a challenge to the college Music Education and Performance majors. This will therefore give the college students a rough time trying to gather information to deliver their lessons. Another limitation is unwilling teachers. Some middle and high school teacher may not be willing enough to guide the college students in teaching methods. This will discourage the university student during their teaching period and may not want to do the voluntary teaching again. Another challenge to teaching high school students is rejection from students (Willey 93).
Since the high school students are teenagers i.e. in their adolescence stage they are a time rejecting and difficult to deal with them (Rossi 58). They are growing and they feel they are now mature to do things on their own and may not be willing to take instruction. This challenge is experience even by the high school teachers but they know best how to handle them. This way the university students on this program may feel rejected and therefore less motivated. Another issue is culture and environment. Some voluntary students may face difficulties in trying to cope with the new culture and environment. This involves the dressing, food, climate and socialization of diverse cultures (Willey 106-107).
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In conclusion it is recommended that University of Florida should implement the program that would allows all Music Education and Performance majors to volunteer at public middle and high schools in exchange for college credit. This is due to the fact that benefits of the program outweigh its shortcomings, which proves the program effective and quite efficient. The student will be able to interact and gain professional experience in music education. Students will be motivated by the fact that the community hours they serve in voluntary teaching will earn for them credits and replaces the six elective. This program also benefit to the middle and high schools in that there will be reduced cost of hiring music teachers (Taylor 76). The high school students have the advantage of learning effectively since they are taught by young professional who are almost their age. This will hence be a positive effect to music education. The program is therefore highly effective and worth implementing.
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