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To preface, I will structure these reflections as a stream of consciousness; after summarizing and posting

my initial reactions to the readings, I will subsequently reflect upon them and relate them to my personal
experiences. Although I am not teaching class trumpet, I will be referencing the instrument-technique
courses for references. The course is specifically designed for incoming graduate students teaching said
courses, and I would like to adhere to that design for the time being. If you wish for me to use a different
format, please let me know.

Conway Teaching Music in Higher Education

Chapter 1 Designing an Undergraduate Music Course

Almost immediately, Conway mentions the importance of knowing the department that I would be working
in. Being able to understand the background of students as well as their key motivators for learning will
help me to structure lessons plans accordingly. She also mentions part-time students enrolled at a
community college. I do not recall being in any classes with part-time students throughout my
undergraduate studies. I would like to get in touch with students attending college part-time and discuss
their experiences between college and home life. At the Ithaca College School of Music, I do not presume
there will be many (if any) part-time students. Regardless, it would be nice to better understand the
lifestyles of part-time students in case I ever end up teaching a course with them in it.

When reading about Avoiding the Transmission Model of Teaching, I am reminded of the lecture
courses that I had taken as an undergraduate student. I do not want to assume that all lecture courses
are specifically related to the Transmission Model. It just so happened that some of my professors
taught lecture courses by just blurting out information, while students frantically wrote or typed notes. No
additional activities were done to encourage student involvement with the class, and the only means of
assessment of student achievement was a lengthy exam at the end of the semester (the exam was also a
majority of the final grade). I did notice that a majority of the teachers who taught those lecture classes
were generally between middle-aged and elderly people. Conway mentions a generation gap and
paradigm shift in the manner which higher education is taught (p.4). It would be interesting to see how
higher education shifts in the next few decades; perhaps Conways preferred method of music pedagogy
will eventually be considered obsolete and get replaced by newer teaching methods.

The discussion on content knowledge seems obvious upon first reading it. I thought to myself, Well, of
course teachers need to know the subject in which they were teaching. How could they not? Initially, I did
not take into consideration teachers who are unexpectedly thrown into teaching a course they have no
experience with. I have heard stories from my colleagues in undergrad in which they had to teach a
subject they were not comfortable with. Some band teachers have had to teach chorus, and vice-versa.
My degree specifies K-12 Music Education, so I need to be prepared for any possible situation,
especially those I am not as familiar with. When I am informed that I am teaching a course, I had better
get ahold of multiple resources to help me understand the content and prepare myself appropriately.

Setting straightforward, attainable goals is another key point highlighted by Conway. In the case of Ithaca
College, students need to be able to perform a NYSSMA Level-three solo for their proficiency by the end
of the instrument technique classes. For the graduate assistants teaching those courses, that specific
goal is already highlighted. Developing a syllabus in order to meet those requirements, however, is up to
the graduate assistant to develop. I also appreciate how Conway discusses relating your course to
others. The course I would be teaching is not the only one that students would be taking. Especially at
Ithaca College, the undergraduate program requires students to maximize their schedule with courses
and ensembles almost every semester. Conway mentions multiple policies at the national and regional
level, and Ithaca College adheres to many of these standards. The teachers for these courses need to be
able to establish goals that meet the requirements of the standards, yet they also need to be attainable
for the students. I feel that this aspect is especially challenging for both teacher and students.
Lastly, I am curious about the multiple approaches to course design that are listed on pages fourteen and
fifteen. It seems that the instrumental technique courses use a combination of the skills-based and
objectives-based approaches. As mentioned before, Ithaca College establishes specific goals for their
students, and the courses must adhere to these standards. Students must be able to meet these
requirements by their proficiency, in which they are assessed on their performance. I wonder if it would be
appropriate to incorporate more of a knowledge-based approach to the curriculums. Generally speaking,
being able to perform on the instrument and play correct notes is an essential component of the
technique classes. On the other hand, these students are mostly education majors, so would it not be just
as imperative to focus on the pedagogical components as well? In undergrad, I was told of the
importance of teaching students how to teach, especially since I was an education major. I am not
saying that one approach should be used over another, but is there a manner in which to incorporate both
approaches into curriculum design? If so, I would be interested in learning how to do so.

Chapter 4 The Syllabus

Conway mentions the importance of remaining organized and refraining from unexpectedly changing the
syllabus on students. If there ever were changes that needed to be made to a class that I was in, the
teacher would usually ask us for advice on how to change it. Any rescheduled events were at the
discretion of the students as well as the teacher. If there were any time conflicts that could not be
resolved, the teacher would attempt to meet the needs of his/her students as best as possible. From the
student-perspective, I appreciated when teachers would do that for me and the rest of the class. I felt that
the appreciation grew the longer I was in school. Perhaps this is because I grew to sympathize with
teachers and colleagues the more I learned about the aspects of teaching.

I find the shift to online and hybrid syllabi beneficial and not surprising. Availability is mentioned on page
54, and Conway argues that it is best for students to be able to access components from as many outlets
as possible (online, print, etc.). I can understand why she advocates for hybrid syllabi; if I do not have my
paper copy of the syllabus on me, I can hop on a nearby computer and access the online version.
Conversely, if I do not have internet access, I am responsible for keeping a physical copy of the syllabus
nearby for access.

Initially, reading through Conways six parts of a syllabus seemed like second-nature to me. The terms
course title, description, and objectives are nothing new to me, but I was not aware of the manner in
which some of the materials needed to be presented. For example, I did not realize the required readings
needed to be listed as bibliographic citations. I had just thought that the titles and authors needed to be
given. Also, I have noticed the course number and instructor description given on almost every syllabus I
have seen, but I was not sure if it was required. Additionally, I was also curious on how to create course
packs and distribute them without facing copyright issues. I now plan on always including that information
just to ensure that my students have everything they need to navigate through the course.

I appreciate Conway for providing multiple examples of syllabi, especially for different examples of
courses (theory, techniques, etc.). I have noticed that aside from subtle differences, the formatting is
generally the same across the board. As she mentioned before, the syllabi have titles, descriptions,
objectives, required materials, criteria, and class schedules. I specifically like how the Music Theory
example presents its course schedule (pp.61-63). The date, class topics, and assignments are all listed
under separate columns. I think that the design is visually pleasing for the viewer; students can be able to
look up the assignments and classroom plans for a specific day and plan accordingly. I also like how
major assignments are bold-faced to ensure the student when to prepare for an essay, presentation, or
exam. However, with all of the days specifically outlined with topics and assignments, it may be difficult to
reschedule if something goes awry during the semester. Other examples, such as the Music History
syllabus allow for more flexibility when they outline topics weekly rather than daily. Perhaps a combination
of the two examples could allow for both flexibility and precision.
Chapter 2 Assessment and Grading in Music Courses

Conways discussion of learner-centered pedagogy reminds me of humanism, specifically Carl Rogerss

client-centered therapy. I find it interesting that she follows the idea of a backward design in order to
plan a semester-long curriculum. I have not initially considered deciding on the method of assessment
before planning learning activities. This way, the instructor can sequence and plan assignments so that
course work is distributed evenly throughout the semester. As Conway mentions, I find it difficult to do
that if I am not familiar with the current curriculum or incoming students. Thankfully, Ithaca College
provides links to previous syllabi created by former graduate students. With that being said, incoming
graduate students may not yet be familiar with the students, but they are at least given a framework with
which to work off of.

I was intrigued by Conways mentioning of the difference between learning and grades. Since elementary
school, I was consistently informed by teachers that I needed to get good grades in school in order to be
successful. Without good grades, I could not get accepted into the college of my own choosing. Even in
the realm of higher education, some graduate programs require a certain GPA before considering
students for enrollment. I was always paranoid about receiving poor marks in school, and I would
significantly stress myself out to ensure my grades were good enough. Because of that, convincing the
students on the importance of growth and learning over grades may be difficult for me.

I have begun to realize that higher education is not all about the product, but rather a combination of that
and the learning process. Rather than focusing strictly on ability (thinking back to Dwecks fixed mindset)
and achievement, educators consider other facets of the learning process. Such aspects include
Gordons music aptitude and Dwecks growth mindset. I would like to follow this precedent and focus
on helping my students grow and understand the material in which I am teaching to them. As Conway
indicates, I can do this through activities such as allowing students to re-take tests or portions of tests (pp.

I like how Conway advocates for numerous forms of assessment (p. 23). By providing a variety of
assessment procedures (presentations, essays, playing exams, etc.), teachers are able to play to
different strengths of the students. Some may be great visual learners, whereas others do better aurally.
Certain students prefer multiple choice questions, while some enjoy being able to write out their thoughts
in an essay. Once I would gauge the abilities of my students, I can structure assessments that best allow
them to demonstrate their understanding of the subject material.

I recall spending an entire day in my undergraduate band methods class discussing the importance of
validity and reliability of assessment. My professor would make us repeatedly ask ourselves, Does the
test test what it is meant to test? Conways quote on page 27 is almost verbatim. For a while, I did not
fully understand the meaning of that question. I think I am now beginning to grasp the concept better.
Consider the following anecdote as an example: if I am giving students a test solely on fingerings on the
trumpet, then my assessment better not contain questions on the history of the instrument.

I enjoy the concept of a student-generated rubric that Conway mentions. In a collegiate setting, students
are paying thousands of dollars to receive an education, and it seems reasonable for them to have a say
in what they want to learn. In some settings, I may be worried that students might not try to push
themselves and subsequently design a very easy rubric. I usually am shocked that this is typically not the
case, but I then remind myself of the money and sacrifices that students make to go to college. Perhaps
that just makes me pessimistic, but it truly is a pleasant surprise whenever students show up motivated
and willing to learn.
Chapter 3 Understanding the Learners

When discussing the idea of intellectual growth, Perrys term, dualistic thinkers are mentioned, and it
reminds me of many of my colleagues from undergrad. Much like Conways reference to the Eastman
School of Music, the incoming freshmen at school were top dogs from their home communities, and they
sported a noticeable amount of arrogance. I have noted some of my peers making connections between
Ithaca College and Eastman during casual conversation. I am anticipating that many of the incoming
freshmen will sport similar attitudes to that of my undergraduate program and Eastman. My concern is
trying to keep those students open-minded to Perrys ideas of multiplicity and commitment in
relativism. In other words, they are abstractly thinking, fashioning their own learning, and not relying on
the teacher to provide them with a yes-or-no answer. How do I provide a learning environment that
allows students to be able to do that?

I find it interesting how performing music encompasses more than just musical intelligence from
Gardners Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Bodily/kinesthetic intelligence is exercised through physical
playing of the instrument. People develop interpersonal intelligence through behavior and interaction with
peers. Spatial and mathematical intelligence can be exercised through exploration of music theory.
Regardless of the possibilities, I am curious on how to discuss learning styles with students. I was under
the impression that while intelligence can be exercised and built upon, it is heavily dependent on the
natural mental capacity that each student possesses. I have ideas on how to present material visually,
aurally, and kinesthetically, but how necessary is it for me to have to sit down and have a discussion with
them? I hope this does not come across as snarky, because I am genuinely curious as to if this is

In the self-regulation section of the chapter, Conway quotes McPherson and Zimmerman about
prodigious musicians (p. 40). I find this quote relatable, specifically, more work is needed on normal
performance Throughout undergrad, professors would always mention the leading musicians in the
subject area they were teaching. Trumpet repertoire, for example, always discussed greats such as Phil
Smith, Maurice Andre, and Adolph Herseth. I specifically recall one of those discussions on practice
routines, in which one of my classmates said, Thats great, but I am not Phil Smith. I do not have hours
upon hours of free time to practice. Many of us shared this sentiment, and I am sympathetic towards the
students at Ithaca College who also share this mindset. Regardless, I would want to encourage them to
practice as much as reasonably possible when preparing for my (hypothetical) class.

In regards to diversity, I would want to establish a classroom environment where there is no bias or
discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, or sexuality. Additionally, I do not want students to ever feel
inferior to others because of different educational backgrounds. I would want to ensure that all of my
students feel safe and welcomed. In order to do this, I would like to get to know my students.

As Gardner mentions in the Individual Learning Needs section of the chapter, teachers need to know if
their students require additional accommodations. I am not sure if any of the incoming students at Ithaca
College School of Music will require accommodations, but I would like to be prepared in case they do.
When Conway makes note of students returning to school as older adults, I think to the current summer
graduate program at Ithaca College. One of the first-year summer students is an older teacher working
from the New York City area, and she initially was having trouble with balancing work and school. I would
like to structure my courses to accommodate students like this as best as possible.

When reading through the Typical Music Offerings for the different classes, I am reminded that students
do not have much room in their busy schedules. My class would not be only one they have assignments
for, and I cannot assume that assigning them substantial amounts of work would always be beneficial for
them. I like some of Conways strategies for the underclassmen, specifically assigning them to create and
autobiography on the topic I would be teaching (p. 47). This way, I could gauge students familiarity with
the class and use the information in their answers to structure lessons/classes to best fit their needs and
Chapter 5 Creating a Culture for Learning

When Conway suggests the notion of developing a teaching persona, I am reminded of my experiences
while student teaching at an elementary school. I have been told that by nature, I am a gentle and soft-
spoken person. That being said, I naturally acted in this manner when I first student-taught. The kids
basically walked all over me. My classroom management skills were less than desirable, and my
cooperating teacher made sure I was well aware of that. She told me that I need to develop a fake
personality, rather, I need to come across as more of an authority figure rather than a friend. After doing
so, my students reacted to me in a much different manner, and I had better control of the classroom.
While that ended in a successful result, this course is designed for higher education, not elementary
school. Because of the smaller age gap, I might feel a little more awkward when trying to act as an
authority figure to undergraduates. In order to alleviate this, I may need to alter my teaching persona in
order to be seen as more as a teacher and less as a peer.

Conway also mentions the concept of control in the classroom. She asks theoretical questions such as
How much class control can I give my students? She then says the answer is dependent upon the
maturity and intellectual development of the students (p. 87). In order to figure this out, I would have to
know my students well enough to understand their learning habits, strengths, and areas of improvement.
In the case of current graduate assistants teaching courses at Ithaca College, how would an incoming GA
know their students? Would it be an on-going process during the first couple of weeks where the teacher
would gauge the learning preferences of their class (p. 94)? I assume the answer is yes, but I am simply
curious, especially since I am not teaching class trumpet this semester (nor do I know who the teacher
will be).

Another insecurity that Conway references is the self-doubt of knowing enough to teach a collegiate
course. I possess this insecurity; I have been a student for a majority of my life. With a few exceptions, I
have spent my time in education taking notes, listening to other teachers lectures, and presenting
material in order to meet their expectations and do well in class. With the roles reversed, I feel like a
student trapped in a teachers body. The vignette describing involvement with the college community
gave me some ideas for when/if I enter a profession in higher education. Even though I am not the most
outgoing individual, getting to know students and faculty would definitely make me feel more comfortable
wherever I end up working.

I like how Conway emphasizes the importance of referring to students by name. I specifically have trouble
with remembering names, but I would intend to utilize the class roster given to me in order to match
names with faces and remember everyone as quickly as possible. From a student-perspective, I would
hate it when either new or substitute teachers tried to be subtle and get me to remind them of my name. I
felt that I was not seen as important to them, and I was just another random student. I imagine that other
students will feel the same way, and I would not want to make them feel as I did. As Conway suggests,
ice-breakers might be a fun way to get everyone to know each other, teacher and student included.

The suggested preparation materials that Conway gives can be useful tools for individuals who prefer
visual organization. The first class checklist, weekly minute charts (p.95), and other methods of visual
organization can ensure that I would be prepared to teach my classes. The last thing I would want is to be
a dysfunctional mess, especially in front of my students. That is a reputation that I do not want to carry.

I have noticed on multiple syllabi that teachers include some sort of catch-up day (p.97), and I always
enjoyed having those days as a student. If the semester was catching up with me, and I was falling
behind on coursework, I could use the extra day to recuperate and get back on task. Regarding
attendance in general, I like the idea of having the number of allowed absences correlate with the number
of classes per week. I would not want to be too stern with attendance (as long as there is a valid reason
for missing class), but I also do not want to be too forgiving and allow multiple absences.
When discussing problem students, specifically angry ones, I am reminded of a colleague during
undergrad who stood up in the middle of a theory lecture, shouted that the class was a waste of his time,
cursed out the teacher, and left the classroom. Sitting in class, my initial thought was, What the **** is his
problem?! I did not consider that other things may be going on in the students life that caused him to
lash out in the middle of class. While I would be afraid of that same situation happening in my class, I like
how Conway suggests to handle it. Being calm, collected, and reasonable in response will hopefully help
prevent the situation from escalating into something worse.

In order to prevent any of these situations from occurring in general, I would plan on having all of the
information in the syllabus as clear and well-articulated as possible (rubrics, grading policies, etc.).
Conway references the importance of clarity and reasoning in rubrics and how they can help quell any
complaints about grades.

My biggest worry about troubled students is not necessarily mentioned in this chapter. I have recently
been worried about what to do if a student brings in a weapon and attempts to hurt and/or kill other
people. Within the past decade, the amount of school-shootings and incidents has increased greatly, and
I would not know what to do if one of my students brought a gun with them into school and start shooting.
I recently read a Facebook post by Dean Paulnack, and in it, he mentions his belief that the current
education setting is creating a society of increasingly stressed-out and over-worked students. I would
worry that the large amount of stress could cause some individuals to snap, resulting in self-harm or the
harming of others. How can I prepare accordingly if a student snaps in my class? I know its a grim topic,
but I want to be prepared for the absolute worst-case scenario.

Chapter 6 Instructional Strategies for Academic Courses

Thinking back to previous discussions, I believe that lecture classes have benefits for the students
depending on a variety of factors. If the students are willing to take initiative, learn the material, and make
connections between new and existing information, then a lecture class could be very beneficial for them.
Last semester, I took Dr. Radices Music History Since 1800 course, and the class was strictly lecture-
based. Each class, he would discuss the information from the texts, and we (the students) would
feverishly take down notes as he spoke. Making the connections and understanding the material was up
to us. If we did not understand a certain topic, we either had to ask Dr. Radice for clarification, or we had
to go back and read through the text.

The effectiveness of a lecture is also dependent on the type of class being taught. Conway mentions that
this chapter specifically references music theory, history, and music education amongst others. These
courses are typically not as hands-on as a technique or performance-based class. For a majority of the
incoming graduate students, they might be spending more time having their students play exercises and
etudes. This does not mean that all of the technique classes should omit all lecture portions. There is a
significant amount of course material that is best taught through lecture, and every class contains some
sort of verbal presentation of information to the students.

Conway mentions the notion of having the students participate in the lectures. She suggests having some
sort of interactive moment with the class (p. 109). I like the idea of encouraging class participation, even
in lecture settings; it allows students to remain engaged in the course material. Teachers can also use
discussion questions to informally assess their students progress in the class if they wish. Conway
suggests even having the students self-assess their participation in discussions (p. 115). In regards to
formal assessment, Conway suggests that quizzes, essays, and presentations are all good examples of
assessing students progress in lecture courses (p. 111). She also mentions having variety and ongoing
assessments throughout the semester in order to prevent students from scrambling leading up to final
exams. From the student-perspective, I preferred having multiple tests throughout the year rather than
one large final. This way, I could keep information fresh in my head, and I would be less likely to forget

As Conway mentioned with the other chapters, one of the keys to a successful lecture is clear
organization and preparation. She advises teachers to avoid cramming and know the formatting of next
class (p. 108). She also mentions the concept of pacing, and I often worry about efficiently setting the
pace for classes. I would want to structure my lectures so that there are activities to keep my students
engaged, but I also do not want to break off on tangents. I assume that the more I teach, the better I
would understand how to properly pace a class. I could use some lesson plan templates from my student-
teaching experiences in the high school setting and modify them to best fit the needs of undergraduate
college students.

I like Conways ideas on how to facilitate student discussion in lecture classes. I would be very tempted to
just speak to the class for the entirety of the duration, but I know that would not be beneficial to the
students. In the collegiate setting, students learn from their peers as well as their professors. I would not
want to have my thoughts suppressed on a topic, and I assume other students share the same sentiment.
I would want them to be able to speak in class; it makes them realize that their opinion is valued. This
could be especially beneficial for students who lack self-confidence, especially if the teacher positively
reinforces their participation in discussion.

Another beneficial aspect that Conway discusses is the variety of questions that are asked during
discussion. As a student, I would not want to hear the same questions or same type of questions every
class; that would drive me insane. It would allow students to think on different mediums if I asked
questions about connecting information, hypothetical scenarios, and summarization (p. 116). Like
planning class activities, the discussion questions should be varied and spaced appropriately throughout
a lesson.

The discussion on getting students to read and write was especially interesting. In college, my professors
have told me not to read through the entirety of the text for homework. Their reasoning is that they want
us to figure out the main points and purpose of the article rather than reading through any extraneous
information. They would follow up that statement by sympathizing with the students who typically have
multiple assignments due each day for their classes. Conversely, Conway mentions that students should
be held accountable for their reading assignments. The student vignettes explained that the students did
not participate in the readings or discussions because they did not pertain to their career fields. When
they had writing assignments that pertained to their area of study, they were much more involved and
often enjoyed writing and researching about said areas. I can personally relate to this; I actually enjoy
doing these reflections because I am genuinely interested in teaching at the collegiate level. The
information in these readings helps me to reflect and prepare accordingly for any chance I can get at
teaching college courses.

Chapter 7 Strategies for Active Learning in Music Classrooms

As Conway mentions in the opening paragraphs, music learning is considered to be an active process;
students are physically performing on their instrument (or voice) in order to demonstrate understanding of
the course material. She quotes Fink (2003), contrasting the student-centered approach of music
teaching to medical school. I am confused about this comparison. Although I went through multiple
instrumental technique classes, I also had to attain credits in music theory, history, and seminar. In those
classes, the students were not as active in the learning process. Going back to previous reflections, the
history courses in my undergrad were lecture courses. We did not play much of a role (if at all) in the
class; we just absorbed information from the professor and took notes. The issues with these classes
were also similar to medical school; many concepts were forgotten by the next semester or year. My main
concern is that these courses took up as much of our degree as the instrumental technique courses.
What if I want to teach history or theory in the future? Perhaps some of the strategies in this chapter can
be adapted or applied to these other courses in some fashion.
That being said, the cooperative learning environment that Conway mentions on page 124 can lead to
some interesting and enjoyable activities for music technique classes. Students can perform chamber
works with one another, or they can perform for each other and give feedback/suggestions for
improvement. In regards to the setup, having college students count off by numbers or get grouped by
color-coated index cards seems a bit childish to me. It is very possible that that is just my opinion. As long
as it works, then that is all that matters. Knowing the students in my class would help me to decide
where/how to best group them together. As Conway suggests, they may want to group themselves, but
they also might form into cliques and avoid working with anyone else. I noticed this on multiple occasions
in undergrad, and it greatly irritated me when some people flat-out refused to work with anyone other than
their closest two-or-three friends.

In regards to assessment, I like Conways idea regarding self-assessment and potential issues within the
group. Being adults, the students should be able to work out any shortcomings with one another.
However, if they cannot cooperate with each other, I may have to intervene and switch up groups. She
also mentions the difficulty in pacing active-learning classes. I feel that as long as there is enough
structure and time-flexibility in the lesson plans, the teacher can remain on-task and on-time with the
coursework. In regards to Ithaca Colleges instrumental technique courses, the time frames are incredibly
short. Having students learn an instrument from scratch once a week for fourteen weeks (or seven) is not
very feasible. Unfortunately, the college/teachers/students have to make do with the limited time frame.

I have some trouble discerning between cooperative and collaborative learning. Conway uses the term
collaborative as a synonym for problem-based learning (p. 123). In both cooperative and collaborative
learning, arent the students working together to attain the same goal? Have I misunderstood the
reading? The suggestions between setup/planning for both groups seem very similar, though Conway
notes that collaborative learning is slightly more learner-centered.

Of the unifying principles of teaching mentioned by Conway (pp. 132-135), I personally am worried
about creating a natural critical learning environment. In regards to the performance-based classes, how
can I establish a critical learning environment that gets students thinking past the concrete information?
Perhaps I could move beyond the principles of basic technique and discuss various pedagogical concepts
with the students. After all, the students are primarily educators, and they need to know how to teach the
instrument as well as perform on it. That being said, can that be done simply through imitation? I feel that
while the students are adults, they might not catch on to everything simply through observation. Perhaps I
would have to, as Conway mentions, create diverse learning experiences to assure that the needs of my
students are being met (p. 135).

Chapter 8 Teaching Applied Music

While discussing the characteristics of applied music lessons is an essential component of teaching in the
collegiate setting, I wonder how much it relates to the graduate assistants teaching instrumental
technique courses. It could be possible that some graduate students want to include applied instruction
as part of their curriculum. If the class size is very small (1-5 students), the classes may very well be
treated as applied lessons, especially since the teacher would have more time to address individual
concerns. Is this appropriate? Depending on the situation, would it be reasonable to treat these courses
as some sort of applied lesson? As Conway suggests, the first lesson/class would consist of discussing
goals with the students (p. 137). The technique classes also have objectives for the end of the semester
(final exams, proficiencies). The teachers are made aware of the requirements for undergraduate
students to pass their proficiencies. For the remainder of the chapter, I will not question that notion and
reflect strictly upon the content.

Conway mentions the idea of the applied teaching environment changing depending on the student. I
have noticed this throughout my undergraduate studies. Peers from the same studio I was in and I would
discuss experiences with my applied teacher, and our stories would indicate different behaviors from our
teacher. For example, he was very reserved and laid back in my lessons, while he was more talkative
with one of my peers. That same student was also a much more talkative person than I was. I find it
interesting how our applied teacher changed his own personality in order to work with his students. If I
was placed in a situation where I taught applied lessons, I would gauge the personalities of my students
upon the first week of lessons. From there on, I could determine their learning strengths and shift my
teaching persona to best accommodate their needs.

When discussing the one-on-one interaction, Conway presents numerous vignettes of applied teachers,
their students, and their experiences. Kaenzig mentions the importance of being constantly involved
musically and modeling for the students (p.140). In order to do that, the teacher must be able to know the
material that the students are working on. Because of this, I would like to place a large amount of
emphasis on being as strong of a trumpet player as possible. I also want to familiarize myself with as
much repertoire as possible. If a student approached me with a desire to learn a particular piece
(common or uncommon), I want to be able to explain practicing strategies and demonstrate them.

Conway also references the importance of maintaining a healthy studio environment, regardless of the
severity of competition. As a student, I would not want my studio teacher to show bias towards a
particular individual. Thankfully, this was not the case in my undergraduate studio, but I have discussed
this issue with friends in other studios. When studio teachers devote a majority of their time and effort to a
particular person, the remainder of the studio feels neglected. From their perspective, they are not worth
their teachers time; this causes the students self-worth to decrease, prompting additional potential

I like how Conway mentions the difficulty of finding an accompanist for the students in the studio. I recall
asking my studio teacher about finding an accompanist for juries. Since he was an adjunct professor who
only visited the school twice a week, he did not know many pianists that could accompany me. At that
point, I was very lost and did not know where to search. I eventually found an available accompanist
about two weeks before my jury; unfortunately (and expectedly), the performance did not go well.
Because of this experience, I would want to ensure that my students would know where/who to go to
when looking for accompanying musicians. The checklist provided on page 144 serves as guidance for
issues such as this.

Its interesting how Conway mentions grade inflation in applied lessons. There is no doubt that applied
teachers and students develop some form of relationship throughout their time at the school. They may
become aware of the students home-lives as well as any personal issues that may affect their
performance. Some teachers develop sympathy for these issues, and this could subsequently lead to the
inflation of grades. This could be problematic, especially when the integrity of the assessment is at risk.
Some students want to be held to the highest standard possible, and they will be genuinely upset if they
receive a grade they believe they did not deserve. Also, other students who received the same grade for
a performance of different quality would question the grading criteria. For example, if two students receive
an A for a jury performance of the same piece, it is implied that the performances were very similar in
quality. However, if one of those students is given an inflated A from the instructor despite a poorer
performance, than the other student might equate the two performances together. This could lead to the
student with the true A thinking that their performance was not as strong as they had believed, and
their self-esteem could potentially lower. While this is a hypothetical scenario, there are students with this
fixed mindset (Dweck). It is the applied teachers responsibility to not let personal relationships with the
students dictate the grade they receive.

Chapter 9 Learning Technology in Music Classrooms: A Catalyst for Deeper Learning and

Clague discusses how technology use has become a sort of norm in modern society, and music
education should thusly develop curricula that encompass this increase in digital usage (pp. 147-148). He
first lists listening blogs as an example, citing how students were actively engaged and naturally wrote
around ten pages of material for their assignments. I feel that assignments that involving blogging or
some form of reaction to the reading/listenings are especially useful in research-based classes. After
assigning a blog to the class one night, the teacher can use their responses to create discussions in the
next class. Clague also mentions this for his example as he uses the blogs as a preview to his next
lecture (p. 149). His comments on the instructor modeling appropriate responses was interesting. When
discussing the idea of modeling in a music classroom, it would typically be assumed that it is referencing
some sort of physical performance. While this is often the case, I had not thought about the teacher
modeling blogging to students. I suppose the same principle applies to blogging as well as performing; by
looking at the teachers blog, students can gain a better grasp of what to write and what not to write.

When reading about aligning technology with goals in course design, I immediately think about Sakai,
BlackBoard, and other online class templates (p. 151). The sites are developed so students have access
to each of their courses online. Within each course, students can see listed assignments, a calendar with
corresponding due dates, a syllabus, and any additional resources that the professor desires to add. In
my undergraduate studies, I used BlackBoard, which offered a similar template. While many classes also
gave out print copies of syllabi and assignments, it was especially convenient to have the materials listed
online for access from any computer or mobile device. In the case that I forgot my
assignment/planner/etc., I could log on to Sakai and retrieve information online. Additionally, if a printer
was nearby, I could also print out an additional copy.

When discussing these hybrid course templates, Clague also warns the reader to avoid shifting the class
too much towards either online or lecture components. He claims that too much usage of the online
templates can bore students and homogenize the learning experience from one course to any other (p.
152). I believe this relates back to the concept discussed in previous chapters: have variety in class and
attend to all needs of the students as best as possible. Some students may have more experience with
technology than others, therefore the online navigation and assignments may vary in difficulty for each

The notion of an online website seems very beneficial for the students if carried out correctly. As Clague
mentions, the eLearning sites allow for flexibility with displaying information (p. 155). There is also not too
much difficulty with navigating many of those sites; Sakai, for example, has tabs listed at the top and side
bar menus that direct students where to go. Listing various website URLs on the page also allows for
easier navigation than trying to find ones way through library catalogs. That being said, libraries are not
obsolete; the website connections just allows students quicker access to various sites from multiple

Clague discusses the benefits of the online database, Living Music, through which students are learning
first-hand how to record and catalog interviews with members of the music world (p. 156). This is a very
interesting project in that students are not simply learning about theories and principle; they are physically
participating in the process. Their work is also connected to a teacher account online, and the teacher is
able to monitor the students progress from any computer/location. This encourages the teacher-student

While Clague spends most of the chapter highlighting the benefits of technology in the music class, he is
also aware that there are times where online use is not always as relevant to the learning material. He
advises the reader to consider the context of their classroom when making decisions on whether or not to
incorporate Learning Technology into a specific segment of the lesson (p. 159). When reading through
this section, I wonder when it would be most appropriate to incorporate LT into an instrumental
techniques course. With a class that is based heavily on performance as well as theory, how often should
I be incorporating online documents and visuals into the curriculum?

Lastly, I appreciate the list of readings and related web resources at the end of the chapter. Although I
spend a significant amount of time working on a computer, I am not as familiar with technological
applications as I would like to be. Outside of basic notation and presentation software (Sibelius, Finale,
PowerPoint, etc.), I do not know how to utilize other online programs. If I want to demonstrate technology
use to my students as Clague mentions, I must be able to know the ins-and-outs of the programs.

Chapter 11 Learning from Student Feedback

Throughout my undergraduate and current graduate studies, I have been told by numerous teachers to
keep an open mind to everyones opinion. Many of those teachers have said that they learn much more
from students than they anticipate. Last semester, our Ed. Psych. class discussed John Dewey, and I
briefly remember talking about reflective thinking. The professor of that class claims that he always
strived to reflect on what worked and did not work when teaching. After class was over, he would retire to
his office and discuss any shortcomings or problems that occurred during his lecture. He would then
outline plans for fixing said problems. Those plans would be put to use in his next class, and he would
witness whether or not they worked.

I like Conways suggestions of keeping a journal and video-recording myself teaching. While teachers
may visualize how they run class, a recording can show how they teach from a different perspective. It is
possible for a teacher to think they are running class a certain way, then they watch a recording of
themselves teaching in a completely different manner. I have had issues in the past with documenting my
experiences; I would typically try to remember everything in my classes without writing it down, resulting
in me forgetting most of the information form each class. This occurred with note-taking, journaling, and
recording. Upon entering undergrad, I quickly adopted those note-taking methods as I did not want to fall
behind in any of my classes. Watching some of my micro-teaching videos was the single-most painful
experience of my college career, but it helped me witness my weaknesses and inspired me to improve
upon them.

I know that the current GAs teaching classes at Ithaca College have their students fill out some sort of
teacher-evaluation form. Even though graduate students would be teaching in their specialty-area, some
of them are straight out of undergrad, and others may have not had much experience teaching (especially
at the collegiate level). These evaluation forms help the music department understand how the graduate
assistants are teaching their courses. It is very possible that some teachers do not adhere to the
standards, nor do they adequately prepare their students to pass their proficiencies or successfully
perform on their instrument. The best way to determine this without constant observation is to get the
opinions of the students who are in the class.

My only concern lies in the reliability of the students answers. If a teacher does not get along particularly
well with a certain student, it is very possible that the student will make poor remarks about said teacher,
regardless of how the class was taught. What if some students unjustly despise the teacher without
providing reason? I assume that whoever looks at the evaluations will use their best judgment in
determining whether or not the student making the poor remarks is right in doing so. There can be trends
of troublesome students who want to sabotage (for lack of a better word) a teachers reputation.
Students and teachers alike, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. As the implied teacher of a
course, it would be my responsibility to ensure that my students are giving as honest and justified
feedback as possible.

As Conway states, you can never please everyone all the time (p. 191). While I understand this notion
and remind myself of this consistently, I still become upset if I receive comments of disapproval. It does
not matter whether a student or teacher makes this comment; the comment hurts me regardless. I know
for some occasions, I need to take those comments with a grain of salt. Regardless, I still feel that I have
failed that person in the moment.

Conway quotes Brookfield and explains to the reader that teachers should first look through their own
lens before looking through that of the students (p. 192). I am guessing this is because many people who
teach are often very critical upon themselves and quickly notice their weaknesses before anything else.
She seems confident that teachers are able to diagnose the issues with their teaching. Ultimately, the
suggestions for combining teacher, student, and literature perspectives seems like a great way to gather
as much information on my teaching as possible. I also like the suggestions that Conway and Brookfield
list at the end of the chapter. Having a student panel from the previous class come in on the first day
seems like a great way to have the students cooperate with one another and share their opinions on
certain subjects (p. 194).

McCord Teaching the Postsecondary Music Student with Disabilities

Chapter 1 Disability-Friendly Schools of Music

Reading the example regarding Helens cello audition made me question whether or not Ithaca is
accommodating for students with disabilities. I would obviously like to believe so, but I am not certain. I
have never seen blind students or many students with noticeable disabilities walking around Whalen.
Unfortunately, I have not initially considered how to accommodate students with disabilities, mostly
because I do not often see many (if any) of said students in music schools. There are obviously students
with disabilities in music schools, and even though I may have never worked with any of them, I would still
need to be prepared in case a student with disabilities is on one of my future class rosters.

My experience in working with students with disabilities stems from my undergraduate experiences; there
was a class entirely dedicated to accommodating for students who were blind, deaf, etc. We were also
required to participate in a weekly summer camp working with students who were on the autism
spectrum. We would act as counselors and plan activities for the students in small groups (10-15 max).
Although this experience was incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, I am not sure how much it can relate to
the topics being discussed in McCords book. The students I worked with were mostly junior high and
senior high students from all backgrounds, not college musicians. I understand that the age gap is not too
large, but I feel that the environment between a summer camp and a music school is drastically different.

McCord questions the significance of sight reading on auditions, and I can understand her reasoning for
doing so. In Helens case, she is put at a disadvantage instantly because she would need the music to be
incorporated into braille in order for her to read through the music. Otherwise, she would have no other
choice but to hear the recording (how else would she know what to play?). If that were the case, then it
can be argued that she has an advantage because she can hear certain phrasing and nuances in the

McCord also discusses the increasing acceptance and accommodation of students with disabilities. She
mentions how current students are less traditional than many of their professors (p.3). I can assume that
this is due to a shift in societal values across generations, but I am honestly not sure if this is the case.
Many of my peers always seem to be accepting of all people; I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by
such people, but it is also possible that this idea is becoming the norm across our culture. Growing up, a
majority of my teachers encouraged us (the students) to always be accepting of one another. They would
tell us that we do not know everything our peers are going through, therefore it is important to always be
supportive of one another. Because I was consistently told this throughout school, that mindset is
expected of me. It was not until I ventured out into the real world where I realized not everyone else was
taught in the same manner. I am especially grateful to my teachers for encouraging that type of behavior.

I find it especially interesting how McCord considers anxiety to be a major disability (p. 4). I have
struggled with performance anxiety since high school, and it has affected my performance on nearly all of
my auditions. What struck me about her comments was how she made having anxiety seem abnormal (it
is also possible that I misread this section). I have found many colleagues and friends to have some sort
of anxiety or stress, especially when auditioning. Perhaps the anxiety that McCord is mentioning is
incredibly crippling and disorienting. In that case, my anxiety is not to that extent.

I like the example forms that McCord presents throughout the chapter. Having maps for students attached
to audition seems like an incredibly helpful, yet overlooked resource for music schools. Her mentioning of
Berklees accommodations make me wonder why other schools do not see their example and follow suit.
Is it a matter of simply not knowing, or do other school administrations simply not care enough to make
those accommodations? I certainly hope not, but I cannot help but wonder.

When discussing enrollment, McCord mentions the issue of parking and accessibility to the buildings and
facilities. I notice at Ithaca College, there is a circle right outside the School of Music, and there are ramps
leading into different entrance of the school. I do not know if there are certain parking spots available
nearby for students with disabilities. I know there are general handicap spots, but I am not sure if students
are allowed access to these spots (blue vs. red lots). I would have to inquire further to gain additional

It seems like a bold statement for McCord to make about Berklee being the most disability-friendly music
degree-granting school (p. 10). She does have sufficient evidence to support her claim, but what
specifically dictates one school as being the most disability-friendly? I suppose that is insignificant and
petty to discuss. Rather, McCord wants the reader to focus on how many schools do not have provisions
that allow students with disabilities to have the same opportunities to succeed as their peers. I did not
anticipate the number of provisions that are needed (depending on the disability and severity of disability).
Music performance, theory, history, and other classes may need to be modified for a student who does
not see, move, or hear well amongst other things.

Chapter 2 Transition to Postsecondary Music Education

What seems striking about the comparison in graduation rates among students with and without
disabilities is that, from what I have seen, students without disabilities greatly outnumber students with
them, making the number of graduated students with disabilities even smaller than I originally expected.
McCord also mentions that Completion of high school by students with disabilities is improving (61%) (p.
12). I wonder if this is because the definition of the term disability has become more widespread,
causing more individuals to be diagnosed with some sort of disability. If that were the case, would that
impact the graduation rates? The comparisons between employment, household income, and poverty
rates were additionally troubling. I grew up in a school district that developed a specialized program to
help students with disabilities achieve success during and after high school. My school-environment was
very supportive of students with disabilities, so reading McCords statistics were bothersome to me.

The discussions on preparing students with disabilities for life beyond the high school curriculum is a
concept that I did not initially put much thought into (p. 14). I began learning these concepts outside of
school through friends and family; my parents taught me how to drive, I got a job working with my brother
at a grocery store, and I would socialize with friends when I had the spare time. I now realize how
fortunate I am for having those opportunities to transition towards adulthood. I never thought about how
difficult it would be for students with disabilities to accomplish the same tasks. It makes sense when I read
through the chapter, but I feel ignorant for not initially considering these issues before.

McCord lists the possibility of parents being reluctant to let their kids with disabilities continue on to
college in fear of bullying or abuse (p. 15). I feel that this fear is very evident among parents of all
students; their child is venturing into a society on their own. I can understand why there is some sort of
separation-anxiety. If the parents child has some sort of disability, I imagine the fear would only be
magnified by the situation. Questions such as Will my child make friends? or Is the school disability-
friendly? would likely make a parents fear increase. McCord mentions social neglection among high-
incidence students with disabilities (p. 16), so I can understand the parents reasoning for worrying.

Another possible issue facing students with disabilities is the lack of a specified adapted music program
that allows such students to succeed. McCord mentions how the only common course that is offered at
many schools for students with disabilities is a music appreciation course. I find this statement particularly
interesting; with schools beginning to shift towards being more disability-friendly, why wouldnt they
anticipate creating new programs that cater to the needs of students with disabilities? Is it because they
do not know how to develop such a curriculum to meet national standards, or is there another underlying
factor? (I realize this sounds snarky; please know that I am genuinely curious and not being sarcastic)

I like how McCord mentions students with social awkwardness in this chapter. When she describes the
common characteristics of these students (depression, anxiety, etc.), I immediately think of some peers
that I have worked with in this past year at Ithaca College. She also mentions the culture-shock that
occurs when students transition from high school to college music programs; suddenly, they are not able
to hide their disabilities in front of their teachers and peers (p. 17). Additionally, the comment on teachers
losing patience with said students seems troubling to me; if a teacher is not aware that said students have
a disability, it is likely that they will quickly lose patience with them. If they lose patience, this may magnify
the anxieties experienced by the student, resulting in a snowball-effect. If I had a student with an
undocumented social disorder, I would have to make sure that I remain patient and accepting of them
when they start to experience issues in music school.

Last fall, my assistantship involved working as a teaching assistant for the Fundamentals of Music Theory
course. One other GA also assisted in the course, and we would voice our frustrations (in private) about
students who did not show up to class, complete assignments, or both. When we mentioned this to the
instructor of the course, she had mentioned to us that a majority of those students either had personal or
family issues occurring at home. We assumed this was the case for some of the students, but we were
not aware of how many students that would actually affect. The instructor told us that this was typically
the norm, and many students would either have to re-take the course or flunk out of the music program.

When McCord discusses the case of students with autism, I actually wonder how many students currently
enrolled in the Ithaca College School of Music have been diagnosed with some form of autism. In some
ways, the music school is not a very social environment: students spend a majority of their time in a
practice room, in a class, or fulfilling their physiological needs (eat, sleep, etc.). That being said, it is
common for some music students to not be very socially-involved. It is difficult to tell is they are anti-social
because of something such as autism or their school environment.

Lastly, McCord discusses the difficulty of accommodations as seen on transcripts (p. 26). Students may
require additional time to complete their exams (SATs were given as the example). When submitting
applications to colleges, some schools may see the additional time as a negative factor on their transcript.
This is not fair to the students, but it is especially troubling that there has not been a clearer method yet
developed to display said accommodations without hurting the students chances of acceptance. Aside
from the summer program, I have little-to-no experience in working with students with disabilities in higher
education. I would be interested to read more into the colleges and universities that are known for their
programs for students with disabilities.

Chapter 3 Postsecondary Music Education and Applicable Law

When McCord discusses the changing demographics of schools, it makes me wonder what Ithacas
current student population looks like. Is it becoming increasingly diverse, as suggested by McCord, or has
it not changed very much over the past few years? I would be interested to look into that somehow.
Specifically, I would like to know how many students have documented disabilities that I may not be
aware of.

When reading about the aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act, my first concern deals with how
they enforce it. An institution can claim that they have made all the necessary accommodations for the
student, but how do they check and be sure that said institution is doing so? Are there representatives
that visit the school periodically and talk to the administration and/or student? Are there documents of
evidence that need to be provided ensuring that the student is taken care of (and then some)? I would be
interested to read school policies that incorporate the elements of the ADA. I suppose changing the
vocabulary in the ADA to clarify what is meant by major life activities helps (p. 31).
Another question that came to mind while reading through Congresss amendment clarifications regards
the training of school faculty to know these kinds of changes. How are teachers made aware of changes
in the ADA? Are there meetings in which administrators and faculty convene to discuss these changes? If
so, how do they ensure that the professors are adhering to the changes? Is it through observation or
spoken word? (Sorry for all of the questions) I am guessing I can probably find answers to these by either
navigating the schools website or simply talking to the faculty in person.

McCord highlights the dilemma of creating a discriminatory environment in a music school; audition
placements, juries, and other graded performances typically contain elements (such as sight-reading) that
are not beneficial for students with disabilities (p. 32). I like that McCord mentions the idea of teachers
videotaping students sight-reading in a less stressful environment. Juries and auditions can be stressful
enough for anyone; I can only imagine what must be going through the mind of a student with a severe
anxiety disorder.

I like how academic accommodations are mentioned as well as physical ones. In high school, I recall a
student asking their teacher for extended time on a test. I do not remember specifically what their
disability was, but it (supposedly) was documented. After being asked, the teacher replied something
along the lines of, Dont worry, the test isnt that bad. You will be able to finish with plenty of time. Again,
I do not remember the specifics of the situation, but I do believe that the teacher got in trouble for not
giving the student extra time. Is this a common issue in other schools, particularly at the college level? If
so, changes need to be made to ensure such events do not happen.

I appreciate that McCord presents the term, invisible disabilities, primarily because I did not know how to
describe such a term (p. 35). In previous discussions, I was afraid of mentioning students who had some
sort of physical or mental issue that was not noticeable at first glance. I did not know if such a thing
existed, or if I was crazily making something up. I believe I had referred to the term as undocumented
ailments, but I now realize that is not true and misleading. Students can have documented invisible
disabilities; other students and teachers simply do not initially notice it.

For me, the most intriguing section of this chapter is the discussion on how to address students with
disabilities. Being able to make a student feel comfortable and welcomed in my class environment could
be difficult (depending on the student). It can be especially difficult to do this with a student with
disabilities. Unless I or someone I know has a similar disability, I cannot personally relate to their issues; I
can only sympathize. If/when I end up teaching students with disabilities, I would like to come back to this
book and re-read some of the suggestions that McCord gives.

Chapter 4 Strategies for Creating Inclusive Music Classes, Ensembles, and Lessons

I imagine that the case involving Sarah and her issues with reading notation is common among students
with disabilities. They are enabled or accommodated for in high school, then they do not know how to
handle the transition to college. This is, by no means, the students fault, but they are still responsible to
contact someone at the college and inform them of the disability. Sarahs specific case refers to the issue
of a mother who wants her child to succeed, therefore she will take matters into her own hands and
ensure that the child is taken care of. While this is an admirable quality in theory, she is actually doing
more harm to the child because they do not know how to take care of themselves once they are on their

When describing Universal Design, McCord states, disability is not about the persons deficit but rather
societys lack of attention to designing products and buildings that are accessible (p. 42). For some
reason, this quote struck me more than the rest of the description on Universal Design. I recall taking a
class in undergraduate studies titled Students with Disabilities (how fitting). One of the key concepts that
was reiterated throughout the semester was that students are not defined by their disability, therefore we
should never refer to them as disabled students. Instead, we are encouraged to use people-first
language by referring to them as students with disabilities. It feels that the same concept is applied to
Universal Design; the students should not (usually) be blamed for their disability. It is not fair if students
are treated in such a manner, and I imagine it only damages their self-esteem. That could explain the
amount of students with disabilities who either drop or flunk out of college.

Of the principles listed for Universal Design for Instruction, I feel that I would have most difficulty with the
fourth (The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient
conditions or the users sensory abilities [p.44]). While I would have no problem presenting visual or
audio examples for my students, I would not know how to effectively utilize that in certain music courses.
If I have access to a computer screen, I can use PowerPoint, Presi, and/or other visually-appealing
programs to present material. Aside from that, I would have to either use a white board or find some other
manner to visually present information to students. For many music courses, the students are already
working with visual patterns by reading music notation. McCords example of a building elevator may be
an interesting approach to follow (p. 46). No matter what, I want to make sure that all of my students are
engaged and participating in my lessons in some manner.

When introducing the concept of Understanding by Design, McCord mentions backward design (p. 50).
Starting with the end objective, teachers using UbD plan their whole curriculum around said objectives (I
believe Conway mentioned something very similar to this idea in her book?). Being inexperienced in
curriculum and development, I originally thought that this was how most teachers formatted their
curriculums. McCord makes it seem that this is an unusual approach to designing a course, and if so, why
do I feel like this approach is typical?

Wigginss and McTighes Six Facets of Understanding seems like a combination of Banduras Social
Learning Theory, Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, and Blooms Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Under the
Six Facets of Understanding, students are retaining material, analyzing it, relating it to their personal
experiences, and achieve this sixth facet of self-knowledge (p. 51). It would make sense that some of
these theories correlate, as they are instructional theories that cater to the needs of certain individuals.

I understand that McCord includes the comparison of introverts and extroverts in the music school due to
the difficulty of having introverts participate in class. On the other hand, being quiet and aloof in class
does not equate to having a disability. McCord also notes this, but why does she include it in the chapter?
I suppose this is because some of the issues regarding getting introverted students to participate in class
are similar to situations where students with disabilities struggle with participating.

I appreciate McCord including a significant amount of examples of instructional strategies. While reading
through the previous chapters, I kept thinking to myself, the principles mentioned by McCord seem great,
but I have no idea how to utilize them in a classroom. While the examples are suggestions, I am happy
to see a decent amount of them addressing various issues. Specifically, I have not experimented with
text-to-speech applications, so I do not know much about applying it in a classroom setting. Reading
McCords example provides me with a starting-point which to build potential lesson plans off of.

In regards to assessment, McCord consistently reminds the reader to provide rubrics and examples for
the students to read before performing or completing an assignment. This way, students know what is to
be expected of them, and they can complete assignments with said knowledge. Many of the principles
discussed are similar to the ones presented in Conways book: be flexible, let the students know what is
expected of them, define objectives, etc. (pp. 54-58). I suppose these concepts are highly encouraged if
they are referenced by two authors of higher education pedagogy literature.

Lastly, the discussion of environment and Smartboards makes me raise a question. McCord states,
Smartboards are great in all classrooms, but essential in music education classrooms (p. 61). While
there is no doubt that Smartboards provide ample opportunities for students to interact and participate in
class comfortable, is it absolutely necessary for schools to have them? There are many schools and
music programs that cannot afford Smartboards (this is probably less common at the collegiate level, but
still possible). If there is no access provided to Smartboards, should a music teacher talk to the
administration and convince them to obtain one? They certainly are beneficial devices that can enhance a
classroom when utilized correctly; I am curious as to how teachers can coordinate with their
administration to have Smartboards established in their classroom (if they do not already have one).

Chapter 5 Specific Learning Disabilities

When Conway mentions the cost-related difficulties of students with LD attending college, I am surprised
that schools do not offer some sort of financial aid program for their situations. If there is a noticeable
trend in students with LD taking longer to finish college, I figured some universities would step up and
develop an incentive for financially supporting those students. Additionally, the previous notion that
students could not be diagnosed with LD if he or she had a record of academic success is concerning
(p. 64). While the policies have changed since then, I cannot fathom how a school would strictly rely on
documented scores to determine an individuals mental or physical well-being. There are many underlying
factors that influence a students grade in a course (especially depending on the contents of the syllabus).
To assume someones mental state by glancing over GPAs and tracking the score seems lazy on the
institutions behalf.

Imagine there is a student with high levels of anxiety who has trouble reading. Because of their anxiety
and desire to succeed, they spend all of their time focusing on their classes and working with their
colleagues (in this case, the colleagues are very strong academically). By the end of the semester, with
the help of their peers, their grades are decent (B-A range). Alternatively, they are always stressed out in
and out of class, possibly on the verge of tears. Because of their written scores, they would not have
been considered by the institution to have a learning disability. This scenario is what comes to my mind
when I think about the ADA Amendments Act. It is troubling to me in that the student is not okay, yet the
school does not notice or pay mind to it. I realize it may not be the most accurate representation of the
ADAAA, but it is what I initially think of when reading it.

I feel as if I am reacting in the same manner to the information found in these chapters. While reading
these chapters, I commonly think to myself, Why wasnt that done/taken care of before? Did people not
see what was going on with the students? I also remind myself that it is easier for me to say that than
actually do something about it. I am reading a book that presents all of the information directly in front of
me; researchers and psychologists (such as McCord) spend years trying to develop accurate learning
theories related to students with disabilities. I apologize for getting off-track; I was referencing how before
RTI, students with disabilities were not supported by the school immediately after discovering the
disability. What is the schools reasoning for waiting a full year before meeting with a team of
professionals to address the students needs?

McCord also mentions learned helplessness, and I cannot help but think that I exhibit the trait from time
to time (p. 66). With the increasing stresses of school and attempting to find a full-time teaching position,
it is very possible for motivation to be stifled. There are time when I would think to myself, I do not know if
I can do this. I imagine that students with LD experience this feeling because of frustration and difficulty
keeping up in classes. McCord mentions this, and she additionally suggests that teachers remain
supportive of the students regardless of the added stress (p. 67). From a personal perspective, it is
comforting to know that another individual sincerely supports and believes in me. I would hope that other
students would feel the same way.

The introduction of dyslexie font is very intriguing to read about (p. 70). I am curious as to how people
discovered that children with dyslexia best read that type of font (colored black, on white paper, typically
matte-style). Was it simply through trial-and-error, or were they able to run diagnostic tests that measured
the students reading skills? The fact that it costs a certain amount to purchase the font is slightly
discouraging, but it could be a worthwhile investment if there is at least one student with dyslexia in my
class. It would be interesting to see if the creators of dyslexie font could design a similar concept for
music notation.
Of the additional disabilities listed, I do not know if I have ever noticed a student with dyspraxia in school
(or at all, for that matter). I am curious as to how common this disorder is among individuals. Being in a
collegiate music setting, I do not imagine I would often encounter a situation where one of my students
has dyspraxia, yet it is always possible. I appreciate McCord giving suggestions on teaching students with
disabilities. As mentioned before, I am often not sure of what to do when encountering students with
certain disabilities. It seems obvious that instructional works or guidelines for pedagogy would include
examples of how to follow certain procedures. For me, it is simply reassuring that McCord gives
suggestions and examples, and it helps put theory to practice.