Teaching the Teachers: A profile on Music Ed’s Student Teaching Supervisors ☆

Students in their second year of the Music Education program have a lot on their plate, the least of which are their student teaching placements in both an elementary and secondary setting. However, help comes in the form of a team of instructors and supervisors whose goal it is to guide them through the process.

Carla Becker is the student teaching coordinator and seminar instructor for TC’s Music Ed program. Her aim is for the seminar to support student teachers in their endeavors as music educators, while providing them with a platform to discuss obstacles and successes experienced throughout their placements.

Lauren Ackerman, a first year EdD student in the program, has a lot to draw on in her role as student teaching supervisor. Having taught high school music in both rural and urban settings in California and Nashville, she has navigated between school settings and worked with students from diverse backgrounds, enabling her to relate to what the student teachers are going through right now. Of student teaching, she says, “It’s a really difficult situation because it’s not your own classroom, but it’s okay to develop your own voice and to have open dialog with your cooperating teacher if you’re uncomfortable.”

Student teaching supervisor Lindsay Weiss is an EdD student in Music Ed with experience in arts management and K-12 music education. She believes the most important aspect of student teaching is trying to find a balance between being a performing musician and a teaching artist.

“Just like the initial steps of learning to play an instrument, we, as teachers, have to take the time and steps to practice our teaching. In doing so, we can become comfortable enough to teach the content while opening up opportunities for our students to be creative,” Weiss explains.

Jeremy Hepner quotes High School Musical’s big cast number “We’re All in This Together” to describe the relationship between the student teachers, cooperating teachers, and supervisors. “I see my role as a mentor, someone who is there for support. Creating a safe and supporting environment for student teachers to enter into the profession is key in my role.”

Marie-Louise Bowe, who hails from Ireland, has a background in viola performance, as well as traditional Irish fiddling. Her education and extensive performance credits, as well as her experience teaching music at an all boys’ secondary school in Dublin, provide her with a unique perspective to share with her mentees. Here on a Fulbright Scholarship, Bowe is enjoying her role as supervisor of several student teachers in the Music Ed program. She loves visiting schools throughout NYC where, she says, the cooperating teachers are an incredible resource.

While the student teachers in TC’s Music Ed program certainly have a lot to manage, there is no doubt they are in good hands with the knowledgeable and dedicated supervisors who will continue to do everything they can to mentor them through the process of developing their own unique voice as a music educator.

Learn more about the Music Education program at: musiced.pressible.org.