Teacher Portfolio Reflective Statement

David Fonda August 2013

I began working on my Masters in Music Education with a concentration in Orff-Schulwerk at University of Kentucky during the summer of 2010 and completed it during the summer of 2013. My course work included ethnomusicology, educational research, music theory, foundations of music education and three summers of Orff-Schulwerk classes/workshops. I found many of the classes to be valuable to my growth as a person, educator, musician and advocate.

The classes that had the biggest impact on me were the Orff-Schulwerk levels courses. Through the course of those three summers, I was immersed in the pedagogical teachings of some amazing teachers who were inspired by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. I also learned a lot from my peers. I currently teach the arts to students in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade. I, like in most Elementary schools, am the only music teacher in the building. It was wonderful to be able to commune, discuss, explore and reflect with others who are like minded. Through this experience I have developed a core group of people who are available for consultation, collaboration and celebration. I will forever be grateful for the experience that I received while doing my Orff levels at the University of Kentucky. After all, the Orff levels were the reason I decided to attend the University of Kentucky.

The other courses I completed provided varying opportunities for personal growth. The first course I took was an Ethnomusicology course that specialized in the Music of South Asia. I already had an interest in the music of Asia and this course deepened my understanding and my desire to learn more about it. The Foundations of Education course I took helped me to develop a revised version of my philosophy of education as well as strengthening my already strong belief in music advocacy. I took an Advanced Methods and Materials course which was very interesting. Other than the Orff classes, this class was the most work. However, I feel like the assignments were well thought-out and practical to my career as an arts educator. Another very beneficial course I completed was my independent study with Dr. Sogin. During this course I found myself in an instrumental ensemble with people much older than myself. I played a dual role as teacher and student participant/observer. I could speak at length about my experience in that class.

As I said previously, many of the classes I completed during my graduate studies at the University of Kentucky were valuable to me as sources of growth as a person, educator, musician and advocate. I had a wonderful experience during my time at the University of Kentucky and I will encourage others to take the same journey.