Standard I: Professional Preparation

By Hadfield, Debra | American Music Teacher, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Standard I: Professional Preparation


Hadfield, Debra, American Music Teacher


I have the privilege of sharing a piano studio with an exceptionally well-trained piano teacher. Veronika Harms is educated in piano, violin and voice. She has a master of music degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts. She studied piano in Salzburg, Austria, for a year at the Mozarteum and has given concerts in Germany, Mexico, Belize, Canada and the United States.

In the summer of 2000, Veronika implemented a music program for YWCA's summer camp for underprivileged children in Lubbock, Texas. Other musical training includes Musikgarten certification. She is a popular adjudicator and has served as pianist for several churches. She enjoys accompanying choirs and orchestras and performing for various social events.

Now in her tenth year of teaching piano, Veronika exemplifies the Professional Certification Teaching Standards. Standard I embodies "What a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) Should Know." Standards II-V embody "What a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music Should Be Able to Do." Veronika's professional training and acquired body of knowledge meet the requirements for fulfilling Standard I: STANDARD I: Professional Preparation

   A. Knowing and Performing Music
   Competent music teachers possess
   a significant understanding
   of and facility on their performing
   instrument(s). They demonstrate
   a specialized knowledge in
   a performance area as they provide
   students with comprehensive,
   sequential instruction. They
   have substantial knowledge of
   music theory, music history/literature
   and pedagogy/teacher
   education.

   B. Knowing and Understanding
   Students

   Competent music teachers have
   knowledge and understanding of
   students' physical, social and
   cognitive growth and their past
   musical experiences. They assimilate
   this knowledge to develop a
   course of study and to prepare
   instruction that meets the needs
   of each student while cultivating
   positive and productive
   relationships.

Observing Veronika's teaching is an inspiration and a joy. Each day she arrives with a plan for each student's lesson. She understands each student's weaknesses and strengths and is an outstanding teacher with students of all ages and levels. Each lesson incorporates theory, improvisation and ear training in a natural, sequential order. …

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