Something really great, for me personally, that resulted from performing this interview with my high school choral director was that I understood my teacher in several ways with regards to connecting the experiences I had in her classroom to what she was telling me about herself as a musician, educator, and music-enthusiast. While we have discussed and reminisced about our time together at Cherry Hill West various times over the course of the years, I was still able to gain a lot of insight into who she was as a person. I appreciated her genuine devotion to music education and her desire to make better people out of her students through music as a medium.
One of my favorite parts of this interview was discussing her beliefs in music education because for someone like me who is still only in the beginning stages of becoming a music teacher, this was another opportunity to make my personal philosophies vulnerable and open to new ideas and maybe look at things from another perspective.
What made Mrs. Bass so unique to me was that I viewed her as someone who has done it all. She has been a high-school educator where her choirs were held with the same honor as professional and collegiate ensembles; she has been a guest conductor for various honor ensembles outside of New Jersey; she was and still is a traveling clinician with two published Hal Leonard DVDs about Choral Technique; and she has officially become a college professor, teaching choral music and will also be leading some educational courses. What was interesting about what I learned from her was that despite her transforming career as a music educator which has taken her all over the country, everything about her as a person, musician, teacher, and humanitarian has never changed. Despite her changing educational contexts, her philosophies on music and education never changed. She mentioned how that, despite changing to a collegiate position from a secondary school position, her beliefs still transferred over; she only needs to implement what she wants her students to get out of her classroom in a different way.
Performing this interview also helped me learn some other technical things unrelated to what we discussed in the actual interview itself. I learned a lot about business etiquette and being able to facilitate a professional project like this one. Even though she was someone I was extremely close with and knew more than well, I tried to treat this project as something professional. I also found that I had a few technical difficulties – obstacles that I had to face in order to be able to improvise or understand what I needed to do better next time.
Overall, I believe that my project went well. I learned a lot about my teacher from various perspectives and I greatly appreciate her openness of her opinions and beliefs about music education. My respect for her and what she does and who she is has always been great, but if it has not changed, it has deepened in one way or another.