Information for Teachers
The novel Health & Fine Arts TEKS represent a turning point in music education toward recognizing and preparing students to meet physical and emotional challenges that extend beyond the music classroom. The TCPAH project with Denton ISD worked to empower music educators in the district to address these health concepts effectively in the classroom. This work confirmed that music educators are well-positioned to share health information with students related to their involvement with band, choir, and orchestra, especially considering that these students often have the same teacher from the beginning of middle or high school until they move on to the next stages of life. This sustained role in the lives of students during critical years of adolescence positions music educators as being able to impact the musical development of students, but also their overall wellbeing.
Music educators have the opportunity to be explicit about teaching health in the music classroom. This action can help students begin to make decisions about health on their own, which may enable them to respond to certain challenges outside the classroom as students begin to transition into the workforce. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, some of the top industries across the state are manufacturing, petroleum refining, construction, energy, hospitality, transportation, and logistics. These industries involve repetitive motions, excessive sound exposure, sustained vocalizations, or other situations that require an understanding of health and safety in order to make appropriate health decisions. These situations are indeed similar to those asked of students engaging in band, choir, and orchestra ensembles across the state. Therefore, educating student musicians using the Health & Fine Arts TEKS has relevance well-beyond the context of secondary music instruction and may enhance the lives of students even after they move on to the next stages of life.
Through collaborations with Denton ISD, our project developed a Pilot Webinar to empower music educators to discuss these Health & Fine Arts TEKS in Band. The Pilot Webinar is a panel discussion with Melissa Lewis (Director of Band & Instrumental Music Coordinator at Denison ISD), Travis Harris (Band Director at McMath Middle School in Denton ISD), Kris Chesky (TCPAH Co-Director and Professor of Music at UNT), and Sajid Surve (TCPAH Co-Director and Associate Professor of Osteopathic Medicine at UNTHSC. While the content of this webinar is centered through the context of band ensembles, we believe that all music educators can benefit from viewing this material. Topics include Setting Students Up for Success, Preventative Maintenance, and Recognizing Signs of Injury.
As our center continues to pursue this agenda, we plan to grow our engagement with the music education community and other stakeholders to establish best practices for sharing health concepts in secondary music ensembles. If you have questions, comments, or other ideas about this work, please email us at email@example.com.
For more updates about the continuation of this work, please follow us on Instagram @tcpah and search Texas Center for Performing Arts Health on Facebook. If you found these resources helpful please tag us on social media and use the hashtag #tcpah.