Editor’s Note: We are pleased to introduce you to Shannon Kelly, a master’s voice student working towards a MIE Concentration. This is her internship proposal for the Fall 2011 semester; you can view follow-up posts to this one here.
I am writing to propose as my guided internship for the Fall 2012 semester my Teaching Assistantship for the NEC undergraduate course titled Voice Class for Non-Majors. For this class, I will teach a section of approximately 9 students each week in lecture format; in addition, I will provide one-on-one voice lessons to each student in the class for either 30 minutes or one hour each week.
My goals for the internship are as follows:
- Gain experience and comfort teaching in a classroom setting, including preparing lessons, setting expectations, measuring student progress, and setting appropriate benchmarks for evaluating and grading student performance.
- Evaluate and refine my classroom teaching style as observed through documentation and data collection.
- Acquire a greater level of comfort and competence as a studio instructor.
- Improve student engagement and learning as a result of techniques studied through MIE coursework.
My previous vocal teaching experience consists of one-on-one studio voice lessons and this individual experience is limited to a handful of private students. This will be my first real experience teaching regularly in a classroom setting. Therefore this internship is an important component of my development as an Artist-Teacher-Scholar.
I am enrolled in two MIE core courses in the Fall 2011 semester (Models for Teaching and Learning for MIE and Introduction to MIE) and also took the MIE Seminar in Spring 2011. I hope to use the internship as a testing ground for several techniques I studied during that course, including specific classroom teaching strategies and approaches to vocal technique and training gleaned from readings about developing talent.
This internship is relevant to my future plans as an Artist-Teacher-Scholar in that I hope to teach both individually and in a classroom/group setting, but have limited experience in either setting. Further, I find that teaching helps me develop as artist by solidifying my own technique and improving creative interpretation and expression in my own performances.
Concerning my best personal traits as a learner, I believe my two greatest assets are my curiosity and my willingness to learn. I subscribe wholeheartedly to the “growth mindset” in learning and I am eager to apply this concept as a teacher. I also feel that my willingness to learn is important in creating an enthusiasm for subject matter among the students I teach. I am eager to apply this concept and to refine techniques for keeping students engaged and enthusiastic about the learning process.
Internship Inquiry Questions
- How do I need to adapt my teaching techniques (in group and private settings) to create active learning and growth for the students in this class?
- How will teaching this course contribute to my development as an artist and a scholar as well as a teacher?
- Video recordings: I will record at least three classes and at least three private lessons with two different students over the course of the semester to try and track my learning process.
- Student work: I have included several writing assignments that require students to reflect and comment on singing and the classical vocal repertoire as an art form. I feel that students’ reactions to performances, while varied, may reflect my effectiveness in creating an enthusiasm (or at least appreciation) for the art form.
- Student Tests: Students’ performance on tests will also be a helpful feedback tool. Students’ improvement over the course of the semester will be the most important measure of teaching effectiveness.
- Student performances: Students will also perform live for a jury as their final exam. I hope to use these performances as a marker of my effectiveness as a studio teacher, not simply in terms of students’ vocal technique but their confidence, engagement, and interpretation of the songs.
- Student Evaluations: Student evaluations will be a critical tool for comparing student’s perceptions of the value of this course with my own perceptions about student engagement and learning. I will use these evaluations to refine both content and technique in the classroom and studio setting.