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My Musical Story: Personal Connections with Music Emma O’Toole 8P14, April 12th 2018

For as long as I can remember, music has played a significant role in my life and in my

family. When asking my parents why they enrolled me in music lessons at a young age, they told stories of how whenever I would enter a room with a piano, I was immediately drawn to it. My dad continued to encourage my interest and participation in music from then, as he always supported my music lessons, excessive practicing and encouraged me to participate in our church choir. This was the first time I was able to share my music with others, which was an amazing experience. My dad and I continue to share a special bond over music, as he was always available to listen to my pieces, be my duet partner, and motivate me whenever I became discouraged. I play or listen music whenever I have the opportunity, whether on my piano, from the car radio and even while writing this paper. Music has always acted as a safe place for me to express myself, explore my interests and elevate stress. When I play piano, I find myself drifting away from reality and into a space where I am comfortable, challenged and completely in love with what I am doing. I experience an almost indescribable feeling when I am deeply engaged and connected to music which allows my love for it to grow each day.

While the majority of my experiences with music have been as me as the musician, I

recently attended a concert that completely inspired and impacted my relationship with music. I attended a Lumineers concert with my close friend this past fall and was completely moved by the whole experience. I have been familiar with their music for years, as their indie/folk sound paired with rich historical narratives has earned this band a spot at the top of my iTunes library. However, seeing this band live with a close friend was an incredibly moving experience. I felt deeply connected with their music which resulted in a variety of emotions on my behalf.


Throughout this concert, I was disconnected from my phone, the stresses in my life, or any exterior factors and was simply moved by the music. This night describes my musical interests, as artists that are able to captivate their audience with not only catchy tunes, but meaningful lyrics and stories have greatly impacted my life. Although my relationship with music has remained consistent and mostly positive, there were times where, especially in school, I felt discouraged to continue.

The negative experiences I have had with music stemmed from teachers pressuring

perfect my performance rather supporting my individual learning. My elementary music teacher assigned students with instruments without allowing us to have a say, and only tested us on our proficiency in scales and classical pieces. As an incoming educator, I want to give students the ability to fully participate in their own musical journey. I want to allow creativity, open conversations about musical interpretation, and a say when choosing topics or instruments, for example. I want to be a music teacher that encourages students to find their own passions within music and be confident in their learning to build interest and confidence in this subject. In entering this music class, I am challenged to remove my musical identity from only a musician and move towards becoming a music educator. While I believed this class would be simple for me, I quickly learned that being able to play music does not mean I am able to teach it to elementary students. I feel both confident and inspired by this course as I am eager to take my past knowledge and my skills and apply it to becoming an influential classroom teacher. My goal throughout this course is to learn how to teach music to students in a way that will be meaningful to them, and create a space where all students can feel comfortable. I look forward to channeling my passion for music to give students the opportunity to experience the incredible world of music the way I have.


My Musical Story- Emma O'Toole  

8P14 Musical Story

My Musical Story- Emma O'Toole  

8P14 Musical Story

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