As part of his student teaching assignment at E.T. Richardson Middle School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mark Cellini was tasked with creating a visual display for Kathleen Boyer’s music room.
Normally a bulletin board would have offered the perfect canvas, but Boyer had none in her music room. Cellini, a student at West Chester University, got creative. He designed two displays, including one celebrating Music In Our Schools Month®, for the darkened glass panes of two classroom doors.
Mark Cellini’s Music In Our Schools Month poster
Cellini said Boyer suggested an MIOSM® focus, and after some research, he gathered information to create a poster that outlined the benefits of music education.The poster notes that music education contains elements of math, science, foreign language, and physical education.
His second poster featured photos of the various music groups at Richardson, including the seventh-grade wind ensemble and eighth-grade strings.
Photos of instrumental music students at E.T. Richardson Middle School
Cellini said that learned a lot from his research, as he had from his student teaching stint. “In the classroom, you learn so much more than just reading or taking classes. I have learned a lot from observing Kathleen in class. I see things in a different light,” said Cellini, a cello and bassoon player.
Kathleen Boyer and Mark Cellini
Boyer, who is Pennsylvania Music Education District 12 vice president, will become president of District 12 during the next school year. She has undergraduate and graduate music degrees from West Chester University.
She teaches grade 6 to 8 band and orchestra and says “We have a strong music program here in Springfield (Pennsylvania) School.” The instrumental program has about 250 students.
Boyer said she has had a number of student teachers from West Chester in her classroom because she enjoys working with them and because “I want good music teachers coming into our schools, good teachers around our students.”
To help that along, she works to get student teachers taking on classroom duties as soon as possible. Cellini, she said, did a great job with her various music groups.
She refuted the notion that middle school students are a challenging to teach, saying “Our students are really excited to be in the music program here.”
Cellini, who has finished his seven weeks of secondary student teaching and is now working with elementary students, said he was surprised how much he liked the middle schoolers. “I fell in love with middle school music. You can talk to the kids like adults, but they also still need you as a teacher. It is a great age-group.”
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—Roz Fehr, March 31, 2011, © MENC: The National Association for Music Education
Photos courtesy of Kathleen Boyer