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"The Musicians' Pledge" by Fernando Jones

Also known as the "Blues Kids Pledge"

Each session begins with . . .


I am somebody. (Repeat)
I am a musician. (Repeat)
A musician is a person who makes music. (Repeat)
A good musician listens. (Repeat)

And a musician that listens learns. (Repeat)

And a musician that learns earns. (All say together)

Photo by Glenn Kaupert


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Classroom Culture


Before learning how to play a song we get background information on it to help us better understand the piece’s significance. We use a cross reference chart that is used to collect data in areas such as artist, theme, style, tempo, instrumentation, etc.

My classroom gives me an opportunity to facilitate and participate in the shaping of tomorrows leaders today. The room is laid out in a circular hands-on, user friendly, nurturing, educational, and entertaining environment. Faculty & staff, family & friends, community leaders are welcome to observe sessions. This policy affords Learners opportunities to perform before diverse audiences regularly. These experiences enhance the learning environment and growth process. Current events get incorporated into our lesson plans without compromising the integrity of the unit.


Learners are assessed and evaluated based on individual growth and performance. Individual needs are identified, addressed, and supported using Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory resulting in our classroom becoming a resource onto itself supporting the needs of those that can’t be addressed outside the environment.

To ensure my development as an educator and Life-long Learner I still participate in professional growth and development seminars, am actively involved in professional music and academic organizations, and go to conferences that focus on serving the needs of those I serve. Sometimes my lessons are shared with my colleagues to get feedback.


In closing, my philosophy can be summed up by saying: As an educator I believe that goals set for and by Learners should be attainable. One’s emotional and academic needs should be catered to. In order for a Learner to succeed they must feel safe, valued, cared about, respected, and protected. Most of all they must feel that they can trust their instructor/mentor. Learners have to know that you want to “understand” them. My mama used to always say, “Understanding is the greatest thing in the world.” She was right. Those words of wisdom go with me into every teaching situation.


Photo by Fernando Jones

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