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Damian Williams

03/20/2015
Arts in the Elementary School

Professional Development Reflection from TCMU Upstate


The visit to The Children`s Museum of the Upstate was a great experience. Even though finding
the museum and a parking space was difficult, it was all worth it. When I entered the museum, I was
mesmerized. The faculty were very nice and the atmosphere of the building was so welcoming. It felt like
I was entering a building that fosters education and play, in which I am all for. There was so many
interesting and fun things in there, I felt like a child again. Each floor of the museum had a different
theme and many different exhibits. There were robots that played tic-tac-toe. A hospital area where you
can hear a drum imitate your heartbeat. A music area where you can make music on many different
things, and an area that shows you the process of money transactions in banks. Everything that I played
and observed in the museum could be taught to students.
An experience that I enjoyed the most during my visit at TCMU Upstate was interacting with my
fellow classmates in the Garage Rock exhibit. The
Garage Rock exhibit is a fun musical experience

where children and families can express themselves


and experiment in creating musical sounds. The
instruments in the exhibit, made of tools, plastic
pipe, a pin ball machines, and other unexpected materials, are designed to be whimsical, eyecatching, and intriguing. Though you certainly wont find these unique instruments in any
orchestra, their unusual shapes and sounds challenge visitors to think about the components of
music in new ways. While visitors strum, slap and spin, they can play with timbre, melody, pitch
and the other basic elements of music.

(tcmupstate.org)
I am a true believer of Music Therapy and its ability to bring people together. Being in
that exhibit and playing with all the different instruments made me felt so good. The best part
was playing with my classmates. There were some of them I never spoke to, but just having the
musical interaction with them gave me a chance to get to know them a little. Andrea Evdemon
and I rarely communicate in class, but we had a blast playing the xylophones together. I learn
that she was a fun person to be around just by creating music together.
The Garage Rock Exhibit had an instrument where you can make beats with and I learned
that my classmate Jordanne Harpster is great at it. She made three different types of beats in like
ten minutes. I told her she needs to be a music producer or a manger of a music company.
All those interactions were made through music. Music has a special way of bringing
people together and igniting creativity. My experience in the garage rock exhibit showed me
why music education and the arts are some important. Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of
Education said, I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the
most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They
(children) have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need
training training that prepares them to become confident young men and women. This quote
by Richard W. Riley supports the importance of the arts. It supports how Jordanne Harpster who
is a well-educated young female created different styles of beats in just ten minutes.
Being a part of the Arts for Elementary Schools class has really showed me how the arts
can be integrated into classes and how it can really be fun. There were many times I was
challenge to be creative and step out of my comfort zone, but by doing that I know I will be a
successful teacher. My garage rock experience reminded me of a lesson that my Professor taught

one day. Dr. Leonard had the class to act out a poem. It involved dancing, moving, making noises
(music), and acting. The poem was weird when I first read it, but when the class started to act it
out, so many creative ideas were brought to the table. I am not an actor, but I was so interested
and excited on how things were going, I stepped out my comfort zone and narrated a part of the
poem. That lesson was great, it brought all of us together to bring a poem to life. Even though
my experience at the museum in the garage rock was not as planned, it still produce the same
outcome. People collaborating by using their creative minds with the arts. Both experiences were
fun and presented an opportunity to get to know others.
Former President of the United States Gerald Ford said, Music education opens doors
that help children pass from school into the world around them a world of work, culture,
intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our
children with a complete education that includes music. Music corporates all the needed aspects
for students to be successful. The Childrens Museum of the Upstate really supports music
education, play, and education in general. I had a great experience and cannot wait to bring my
future students there to take heed to the many fun educational opportunities.

References
Garage Rock. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from http://www.tcmupstate.org/portfolioview/garage-rock/
Useful Quotes for Arts Advocates. (2010, January 1). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from
http://www.performingartsconvention.org/advocacy/id=28
Music & Education Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from
http://artdrum.com/MUSIC_EDUCATORS_QUOTES.HTM