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Retirement 1988




My Teaching Philosophy by Dorothy Powers

According to Webster: To educate is to draw out and develop harmoniously and in the fullest sense…the mental and moral powers.Dorothy Teaching

I feel that there is no subject that can "draw out" and develop the mental and moral powers better than the subject I taught…music.

Music is both a science, which deals with specifics, and an art, which deals with the interoperation of feelings. Both aspects, the scientific and artistic, are valuable to the learners. Overemphasis on the scientific aspect may kill the spirit of the music, but a lack of knowledge of these specifics may cause music to become a "tinkling cymbal." The mastery of creating and performing music calls for a real discipline, but is motivated more by an inner urge for expression.

Dorothy DirectingI love my subject--music--which is limitless in its many forms and styles and is constantly changing. And then, there is the human voice…the most fascinating instrument of all…about which we are learning more all of the time.

Dorothy in the ClassroomKnowledge and skills in themselves are useless if one does not learn to promote teamwork, cooperation, self-discipline, respect for one another and the love of beauty. Choral singing requires that students to learn work together and "feel" together. It also helps them understand the contributions various races have made to our world culture…leading them to the true dignity of man.

Dorothy EncouragingMusic affects the whole gamut of human emotions; it can "sooth the savage beast," encourage self-confidence, stimulate one to action, arouse patriotism and sympathy, and unit people. Stimulation and nourishment of the spirit is needed by all people. Music affects the whole body…the circulation, digestion, posture, nervous system and metabolism. These and other bodily changes can affect the emotions and bring about a sense of well-being. There is no finer way of emotional release for adolescents than through music.

Christmas ConcertTeaching of moral and spiritual values can be accomplished through singing, playing or listening to music. The teaching of religion in schools poses controversy and sectarianism, but music transcends these barriers and goes to the very heart of people. Performance in music develops a feeling of responsibility for sharing a joyous experience with others.

Senior Awards NightThe most important resources in the world are the human resources of our youth. They are the potential scientists, teachers, artists and statesmen of tomorrow. They will be guided in their thinking and development by the way they "feel." The study of music provides personal enrichment experiences for these young people and influences their spirit and the way they "feel."

Vocal FestivalI often told students that there is nothing more beautiful in the world than to see a group of young people doing something well…like hearing them sing a song in which all of the notes and words have been learned to perfection and they express them together as "one."

Swing ChoirMusic should not be confined to a music classroom only. It should be part of the whole school, the assembly, academic classroom and the community. Its power to nourish the spirit should be available to all.

The following is a statement I have often written in student's yearbooks and is what I strive for daily:

Dorothy's School Photo"May the music we learned together enhance your life always."