Great teaching starts with a commitment to great learning. Great teachers build expansive learning environments for their students and seek learning opportunities for themselves that are ambitious, open-ended, playful, and curious. These values align with the core interests of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) in supporting artistry, community, and equity in all of its music making and music learning in schools and community settings, and with pre-professional musicians.
Within WMI, these values also guide how we frame our ongoing conversation about what great music teaching looks like. Regardless of the environment, great teachers artfully manage a balancing act between modeling the building blocks of the artistic process and inspiring young musicians to be creative and make music an important part of their lives.
We believe that all educators and artists constantly reflect on who they are within the arts and education. This search for identity goes in different directions and evolves over time. This framework serves as a starting point for music teachers to explore many possibilities as they shape their identities. Throughout this process, teachers and artists are encouraged to be flexible, collaborative, and compassionate about their own practices.
This framework focuses mainly on teachers and artists, with the understanding that their development will make a great impact on their students. It also provides insight into how great music teachers can build toward the parts of their teaching identities they want to grow.
Great music teachers believe in a holistic approach to their work, and engage with most, if not all, of the impulses outlined in this framework on a daily basis. Whether they embody these impulses already or are looking to them to provide a path toward future learning, great music teachers always reflect on how they can continue to learn and grow.