All entries for Tuesday 30 August 2022

August 30, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Yann Zhe Yau

Often, we ask children, what do they want to be when they grow up? Into their teenage years, we tend to ask what would you like to study or do? As adults we tend to be asked, where do you see yourself in five years? And as adults we like to ask: What’s next in life? This shows a pattern in everyone's life. Where are we going? What do we want out of life? What is next? Such questions are easily answered but getting there is far more difficult. We need to know how to acquire skills, how to learn new things in this ever fast-pacing world, we need to support and develop our Emotional Intelligence. As such my teaching philosophy is to help give and develop the tools needed for the evolution of learning throughout life.

Throughout my experience, I always look at things as a journey. What made my understanding and learning faster, what slowed it down? How did I get one group to sound good and how did I solve a struggling group (TS1 & 2)? Throughout the years I heard of colleagues making different choices. Some sold insurance, became lawyers etc. Others struggled with the identity of just being a musician. At this point I was enjoying being a freelance musician/educator and it brought a profound question to mind. Do I have a responsibility to give my students more than music lessons? (TS 8)

Barnes, Brown and Warhust (2016) wrote about how education and developing skills can help keep us motivated and passionate throughout our life. This gives us an important insight to our roles as Educators. It is not just for examinations and preparing them to pass the years in school. But to look at the long-term effects of each individual life. In an ever-fast-paced society, adaptability is key. One must be passionate about their life, but one must also have foresight into establishing a firm base to overcome life uncertainty and unpredictability.

Weinstein and Sumeracki (2019) wrote about how everything we do goes back to using our memory. A big part of learning is recalling information and putting that knowledge to effective use. Teaching students' tactics to commit materials into long term memory is part of our daily routine. In doing so, we are setting up a format, we have effectively given them an insight into organizing behaviors and helping them develop lifelong skills. (TS 4).

Price and Savage (2012) wrote about how music creates scenarios that allow us to exchange and learn about cultures through music. Aside from understanding the tools of learning, another important aspect is soft skills. By teaching music to students one can develop communicative skills, creativity, problem solving, promote teamwork and develop one's personality. Such skills are useful not only for building relationships but also to balance one's mental state. (TS 7)

My teaching touchstone impacted me in knowing that with the acquiring of knowledge and understanding nothing is impossible, having achieved that comes many possibilities (TS 1 & 2).

I aspire to be a teacher that can give my students such tools.


Barnes, Brown and Warhurst, (2016) Education as the underpinning system: understanding the propensity for learning across the lifetime (Future of Skills & Lifelong Learning Evidence Review). London: Foresight, Government Office for Science.

Weinstein and Sumeracki, (2019) Understanding How We Learn A Visual Guide. New York: Routledge.

Price and Savage, (2012) Teaching Secondary Music. London: Safe Publications Ltd.

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