Hit the Right Note with Music Courses at FLVS

What’s the one thing in life that made you believe superhuman things about yourself? What made you dig deeper to accomplish things you never knew you could? For me, it was music. Through church, school, and teaching, I have learned more about myself and others through music.

I always wanted to teach. That was obvious to everyone around me as I thrusted my knowledge upon (sometimes unwilling) recipients. I was a pretty shy kid, though. But at church, I would alternate between sitting quietly and standing tall, singing my heart out.

Then I joined band. No one knew why. I didn’t like surrounding myself with other people, but I wanted to play, I wanted to make music. I loved it! I tell stories of my life based on the context of whatever band repertoire was meaningful at the time. Each piece evoked a special feeling, a sense of belonging, and created a special relationship between me and the other musicians.

From there, I learned everything I could about music: other instruments, theory, literature, history. I also wanted to give others this gift. So, it was clear I was going to teach music.

Find Your Own Beat

When I started teaching high school band, I agonized over what pieces of music would be meaningful enough to spend time teaching to teenagers. What would they learn? What would they FEEL? In my first job, I had some kids in my band who had challenges. Some were homeless. Some struggled with drugs and/or alcohol. But every time they played, they were a part of something, and they belonged. We had some great times, and again, all the stories started with a good piece of music.

Why, in a culture of belonging, where everyone had a unique role, would I transition to a gig like FLVS? I saw the potential to expose students to music. What about students who don’t have access to the band, choir, or orchestra? What about students who don’t have money for or access to private lessons? Here, I can be a coach on the side as they discover music for themselves.

 The experience is less about me and more about them, but the music is still there! I can take what they love and point them in directions that will keep them loving music for a long time.

Feel the Music

Everyone boasts the positive influence of music in the curriculum: increasing analytical ability, reading fluency, kinesthetic ability, knowledge of humanities. All this is true, but music makes us human.

In a time where we’ve lived fewer conversations, made less eye contact, and experienced more detached lives because of technology, a good piece of music, played well, makes us feel.

We feel pride in accomplishment. This is true, for nothing increases grit, like the mechanics of learning an instrument. However, we also feel the music itself. We feel what the composer feels. We feel what our student/teacher feels. We feel what those around us and our audience feel. We remember the music we play as impacting relationships that would be wholly different without it. That’s what’s different about music.

Interested in music courses at FLVS? Visit www.flvs.net/courses to explore music course offerings.

Mrs. Becky CarlanBecky Carlan joined the FLVS team in 2013 as a music instructor, after 10 years in the traditional classroom. She has taught elementary, middle, and high school band, chorus, AP music, and general music. Her passion is teaching across the curriculum and integrating music into all parts of life. Becky chose to join FLVS for the opportunities it provides professionals, students, and families.

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