Volume 91, Issue 47

Thursday, November 20, 1997

stars and strife


Unpopular opinions

Re: Bill 160 and the public education system, Nov.12

To the Editor:
It really disturbs me that The Gazette continues to print letters from people who have absolutely no clue. Paul Andrusyshn has written two letters which are completely ignorant. I would like to explain why it is especially important and also, absolutely necessary to have qualified teachers teach music within the classroom.

Last year I graduated from Western with the degree of Honors Music Education. Throughout my four years at Western, I took courses which taught me, among many other things, how to play woodwind instruments, brass instruments, percussion instruments, string instruments, taught me how to sing and how to play a keyboard instrument. Through learning these instruments myself, I learned techniques which would be useful in helping my future students to learn how to play these instruments.

Now, at the Faculty of Education at Western, I am continuing to learn instruments. I am learning about the history of education in Ontario (which is very important in understanding the changes the government are trying to make and why they will fail), about the psychology of education, the philosophy of education, how to make up a lesson plan and methods of teaching effectively. I am also practice teaching for 10 weeks with several very experienced and well-respected teachers who guide me in the right direction on many classroom decisions. I have barely scratched the surface here, but the courses and the experiences I have encountered at the Faculty of Education are essential for any SUCCESSFUL music teacher.

I would be frightened to see a person who is not a qualified music teacher and therefore not trained, standing up in front of a class of up to 36 kids, teaching more than one instrument at a time. Any musician off the street, no matter how talented a performer, could not effectively teach a full classroom of children without the proper education and training. Therefore, it would be absolutely ridiculous to have unqualified music teachers in the classroom.

Mr. Andrusyshn, next time, before you decide to attack a profession that you know nothing about, I suggest you do some research so you realize, before you make a fool of yourself, that you do not have a leg to stand on.

Laurie Pennarun
Hon. BMus, Education I

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997