christineanderson_acemm-2-273x300ACEMM announces that Christine Anderson has been awarded the inaugural Beacon Scholarship.

About Christine Anderson…

Christine Anderson enjoys teaching K-6th in Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada. She has completed Orff Levels I, II and III at Utah State University and will be president of the Sierra Nevada chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association beginning in July 2013.

As someone who is interested in movement, she is especially focused on movement education.

Prior to teaching music, she also taught early childhood special education for several years and has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education/Autism.

She will be using the Beacon Scholarship to participate in the Orff Internship program at the San Francisco School next fall. Christine writes: “I am so excited to be participating in the Orff Internship at the San Francisco School. This program is the perfect complement to my current education and experiences, as it gives me the opportunity to see the Orff process in action with children.”

Congratulations to Christine.
You emulate the spirit and philosophy of ACEMM in a manner we are pleased to celebrate.

Christine’s Experience

It’s been two months now since I’ve returned from my internship at the San Francisco School. It’s been wonderful to get back to my students, though I do miss my new friends, easy access to a great symphony & opera, & swing dancing to live bands every Wednesday! The internship was a mix of primarily observation, some classes and readings on pedagogy, and a few days of planning and teaching in collaboration with the teachers at SFS.

As I reflect on my experience at SFS, it’s hard to pick out the specifics of what I learned, but it’s clear to me (and my students, & even my principal!) that I’ve changed as a teacher. Processing lessons has become easier for me, more natural, and I find myself thinking more about my overall & specific goals for my students, rather than what activity I should teach next. Thinking about curriculum used to overwhelm me; now it seems manageable, and, really, the only way to go about my lesson planning. Transitions and flow have become a more important part of my planning, too.

The most important idea I took away from the internship, however, was, “Do No Harm.” We often hear about this as a principle in medical school, but I think it’s just as important in music education school. If students come away from music class feeling like they aren’t very good at music or not having enjoyed the class, even if they’ve improved their musical skills, they’re not likely to become lifelong musicians. So…music class must always be a positive place. Not that it shouldn’t be hard work, not that students shouldn’t be pushed, not that students shouldn’t be disciplined, but that the teacher should always act with love & kindness. Even when it’s hard. I’ve never been a teacher who yells at the students or makes them feel bad on purpose, but, before, I might have stopped students in the middle of a piece instead of letting them finish, where now I encourage them with, “NOW can you do this?” I’ve started not worrying as much about everything being perfectly equitable each day, but instead I think about catching kids every chance I get. I’m even more convinced of the power of relationship with students, too. Of course, I can never have the kind of relationships that the teachers do at SFS (with have twice as many students in a class and five times as many overall as they do!), but being there has reminded me to keep doing the little things to keep building the relationships.

I’m thankful for my experience at the San Francisco School and very thankful to ACEMM for their scholarship to help me pay for this opportunity. I can feel & others can see the ways I have become a better teacher for the experience. Thank you!