Consider professionalism. It was clear that these band directors really knew what they were doing. Some had professional playing experience. Most, I am certain, were music majors in college. Think about what they have to do. They take young kids who know little about music beyond humming a tune and teach them music theory, teach them to read music, and teach them to play the different instruments in a band. And then they have to teach students how to compose on the fly. You can’t do that without being a real professional.
- Personal ownership and accountability
- Social interaction
- High Expectations
This festival experience leads me to suggest a "Ten Commandments for Better Teaching:"
Ten Commandments for Better Teaching
1. Love your students as yourself.
2. Be professional. Know the stuff you teach.
3. Instill passion for the content - especially, make knowing fun.
4. Make learning personal. Show students how to own their learning.
5. Take away the hiding places of unprepared and under-performing students. Let them embarass themselves.
6. Show students they have to earn self-esteem. You can't give it to them. Praise success and do so publicly when it is earned.
7. Require students to do things that show they have mastered what you are trying to teach.
8. Give students opportunities to "strut their stuff" in public, in and out of the class.
9. Help students learn how to work with others as a team.
10. Expect excellence. Do not teach to the lowest common denominator.