Epilogue of my teaching life for 2012 fall semester

Finally, this semester is end. Unlike previous 4 semesters as a teaching assistant, I felt a lot of accomplishment in this semester. What is the difference between previous 2 years and this semester? In my thought, I find an appropriate way and start to apply this way in my educational life as a student and a teacher. In the beginning of this semester I had several goals in my teaching like below.

In this semester, I have some specific goals I’d like to achieve during MIE Guided Internship. The first one is making a special packet for students including general techniques and various works which are reflected my students’ individual taste. Next goal is using technology such as recorder during several lessons and studio classes. Final is letting student doing studio mates’ assessment during two studio classes and the final concert in this semester.

About my first goal, I have been encouraged by my students. One student said that “Other students don’t have this packet. When I see other students who are bringing this packet, I can assume that ‘they’re also in same piano class!’ I will feel accomplishment after learning and completing works in this packet!” From this opinion, I cannot stop to research sources for my next semester and my upcoming students. Through making a packet, I recognized that an instructor and students can help and encourage each other.

Honestly, I didn’t make it second goal which was using technology such as recorder during several lessons. However, I and one of my students use recorder to assist her individual works. Depending on each student taste, some students had practiced their individual works more than 4 weeks, but there were also some students who needed more time individual works which met their taste and my goal simultaneously. In the latter case of students, they have only 2~3 weeks, actually 2~3 lessons (1and half hour) to learn and get familiar with the pieces. To help these student, I did played and recorded their pieces in order to encourage their various practice ways. Using this, they can listen to the music while they are studying other subjects and their mind and ears already get used to the melody line before their next practice sessions or lesson.

Lastly, I did my last goal which was letting student doing student mate’s assessment. Actually, I developed this goal from classmates’ assessment to self-assessment with classmates’ one. In this semester, I did 3 studio classes due to students’ schedules and their final concert dates. Using this assessment, they dealt with their studio class much more seriously than I did it without this kind of assessment in the past. After collecting their reactions for themselves and classmates, I made final score with detailed comments from me and classmates on their final concert works. Then, I will send them through email during this final period. Through this procedure, I can expect that both I and my students can be motivated each other in field of teaching and learning experience. It was really nice semester for me as a student and a teacher. Thank you!!


A dreaming little teacher (2011)          

    Younggyo Lee

One… no I can’t do it!

A dark and hard blackboard sneer at me

One, two… isn’t it possible?

A snow white chalk is staring me in the face.

One, two, three… everything will be fine, isn’t it?

Bright sunshine is lighted up my dark and empty classroom

Feel that I am not alone

Hear that laughing from students afar

Am I really fine?

One, two, three, four, and five….Now I can breath with these all.

Wow! It’s mid-term quiz!!!

Before the mid-term week (5th Week): I will give my students specific quizzes for mid-term period. In this case I will refer to their sight reading works and finger exercises. Depending upon their learning contents,, they may get different quizzes each other. About the questions of quizzes, I will ask their thought about characteristics, structure and so on. Also, I will ask their opinion between sight reading works and finger exercises like this question “If you are a piano teacher and you have to teach #5 for your student. Which finger exercises will you pick to help your student?” The goal of this mid-term is to understand their work as a theorists and a teacher’s mind. I hope it foes well without problem.

On the week (6th Week) : As I mentioned before, I prepared specific quiz and past 5 weeks score for my student. Depending upon their learning contents, 10 students took different mid-term quiz and all of them passed 90. The highest score was 100 and the lowest score was 94. Two students were ranked at 1st position with 100. Four students were ranked at 3rd position with 99.5. Two students were ranked at 7th position with 99 and one student was ranked at 9th position with 98.5. The rest student was ranked at 10th position with 94. In terms of past 5weeks score, 2 students from individual lesson got perfect 100 and 2 students from beginner group got perfect 100. Comprehensively, 8 students got A grade and 2 students got A- grade. I gave grade description to every single student. After their individual score chart, I put description likes below. Especially each student got totally different No.4 part due to their learning process.

For instance,

1. About attendance, one absence without notice will be accepted, and will not be counted on your score. If you gave me notice one day before your regular lesson time, we can reschedule and this is also not counted on your score. (*means with one day before excuse and ** means without notice or notice few minutes before your lesson time)
2. About participation, there are three factors for checking your participation; finger exercise, sight reading, and your individual works during the lesson. This participation is not related to your homework because I check and give score about your homework separately. Therefore, if you didn’t do your homework, you may get the score of your participation during lesson time independently.
3. About homework, I count this part from 2nd week because first week we didn’t have any homework.
4. Which pieces you did during past 5 weeks
Finger exercise: #11, 12, 57, 108, 140, 144, 154
Sight reading: Contemporary (#1~8) Leopold Mozart (#13)

After the mid-term (7th Week): This week all of my student get their mid-term quiz score and review their small mistakes on fingering section. I soon realized that their attitudes and participation for the piano non major lesson have changed slightly. All students really do their best on every single minute. I am not sure that past 5weeks grade sheets make them those actions but I could get the reason from some students. Some students said that they were impressed by my work such as making packets, mid-term quiz, and past 5 weeks grade for them. Then they started to show their participation for our lesson, not mine or theirs. Now, I felt collaboration from my teaching work with my amazing colleagues out of the visible title a teacher and students. During past 5 weeks, all students have dealt with at least 6 finger exercises. During whole November, we will be concentrated on our individual pieces for final concert. In this week, many students found the common factors between finger exercises and their work and they were surprising. I was also surprising because I didn’t know their individual works when I put those finger exercises in their packet. It was really wonderful and useful experience for us.

Internship: Teaching PNO130

Hello, my name is Younggyo Lee and 1st year Graduate Diploma majoring in Piano. Also, I finished my master on last May at here New England Conservatory. I have been charged on PNO 130 TA since 2010 fall semesters and I have 10 students in this semester.

For individual students, they can get 30mins lesson on a week and the beginner students may get group lesson or 20 mins lesson depending upon the situation. Among 10 students, 7students are placed on individual lesson and 3 students are placed on beginning class. Besides, I already have taught 3 of them and it is my first time to meet  the rest 7 students in this semester.

At the beginning of every semester, I usually make packets for my students. About technical exercises I put them both beginning class and individual class but the contents about sight reading will be various depending on the class type. For this semester, student packet has two parts; Technique part and Basic sight reading one. In technique part, there are all scales and 18 selected finger exercises. In case of Basic sight reading, there are 15 works from Contemporary Piano Literature Book 2 for all students, 10 works (no.1~10) from Leopold Mozart’s Nannerl Notenbuck written in 1759 for beginner class and 10 works (no.11~20) for individual class from same book. With this packet, all students have their individual works which were chosen by their preference or given by me with following their taste.

The most important reason why I make the packet is that I really want to give them a sort of accomplishment after the semester. We can also do our 10 weeks lesson with some piece of music, without specific packet or book. However, I found that a student who have a packet will be more engaged their works or lesson than without it through my education experience. Fortunately, all students of this fall semester, have worked very hard and have a lot of curiosities about playing the piano. When I explained how this packet will work for each student, they understood the role of packet with warm mind. Now I and my students spent 7 weeks for our lesson and we have 3weeks before their final exam or final concert on December 6th or 14th.

I have thought about the way which can satisfy my teaching goal and my students’ goal at the same time. At the beginning of this semester, I started PNO 130 TA with three goals. The first one is making a special packet for students including general techniques and various works which are reflected my student’s individual taste. Next is using technology such as recorder during several lessons and studio classes. Final is letting student doing studio mates’ assessment during at least one studio class and the final concert in this semester. Currently, I have to do my best for two goals which were mentioned above and do my best to encourage my students’ pianistic potential as a amateur pianist or a professional pianist. I will post about our 5th week about mid term quiz and past 5 weeks grade to next writing. Thank you for reading and sharing my experience with your warm heart. Thank you so much 🙂