My goal as a music educator is to foster an inclusive learning environment through diverse literature, Social-Emotional Learning, and a commitment to a growth mindset. The teachers who have made the biggest differences in my life did so through encouragement, empathy, and love. It is also no surprise to me that many of the teachers who did this for me were my music teachers. For me, beauty and creativity were found in my exploration of sound. Like many, song guided me from naive child to angsty teen to functioning adult. Although music is not the universal language many tout it to be, music is in fact a window into the souls of others. Music IS empathy.
The way we love one another has, can, and will continue to change our world the more we explore one small common thread between people: music. By teaching music, we teach work ethic. We teach creativity. We teach morality. We teach unity. We teach love. When we teach, we give the next generations the tools with which they will create their tomorrow.
As a white male, I recognize the privileges I have had being born so. I acknowledge that whiteness has been used as a weapon to suppress Black, Indigenous, and People of Color's (BIPOC) voices. I acknowledge that being "not racist" is not enough from an ally. Instead, allies must combat years of anti-blackness and white supremacy by being ANTI-RACIST.
As an educator who teaches students of various backgrounds and lived experiences, I pledge to:
Acknowledge and confront my biases aggressively
Advocate for change, equity, and inclusion in my community
Create a curriculum that focuses on more than Euro-centric accomplishments and teachings
Continue challenging my own perspective by performing, reading, and reflecting on the work of BIPOC
Foster conversation and reflection in my circle, classroom, and communities
Listen to BIPOC when presented with new ideas and differing perspectives
Present my students with resources from different perspectives and lived experiences