“Ta, Ta-ti, Ta, Shh!, Ti, Ta, Ta, Ta!” To many people, if they heard me leading a group of ten-year-olds in this chant, they would wonder exactly what was going on. But to my class of music students, this chant represents the rhythm of the first line of Joy to the World.
My heart swelled with joy and gratitude as I taught my last lesson to my music students. I led them through an activity that encompassed all the concepts that we had been working on this semester—note durations, rhythms, treble clef note names, and glockenspiel playing. We started by clapping the rhythm of the song together. When teaching note values, my lead teacher associates the duration of each note to help the students count the note length. For example, quarter notes are represented by the syllable “Ta” and two eighth notes are represented by the syllables “Ta-ti.” We have been using these syllables to clap the rhythms of many different songs and rhythms throughout the semester.
After clapping the rhythm of the song, we went through the song and identified the names of all of the notes. Just one week before, it took the students a long time to identify each note name, but this week, I pointed to a note and they identified it right away!
I am so proud of how much my students have learned this semester, but they were not the only ones learning. I learned more than I could have ever imagined from my teaching internship. Not only did I learn about how to be a good teacher and various methods of teaching the material of the lesson, I learned about Viennese culture and traditions from my students.
During one of my lessons with my English students, we talked about how we identified with the places where we live. I introduced a Christmas song to the students about the city where I go to college in the United States. It talks about how celebrating Christmas on the West Coast is very different from the snow of Christmas on the East Coast. My class then had a really interesting discussion about some similarities and differences between celebrating Christmas in the USA and in Vienna and the various traditions of each culture. Even though I was leading that lesson, my students taught me so much about Austrian culture during that lesson.
As a Music Education major, the teaching internship was one of the aspects of the IES Abroad Vienna program that I eagerly anticipated. However, I would totally encourage even non-education majors to explore this amazing opportunity. It was a fantastic way to reach outside of the American bubble of the IES Abroad Center and interact with the community that I was studying in for a semester. It was also a fantastic way to work with students and be a resource for them in their learning and for a mutual impact to be made on our lives. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing opportunity to have been a teaching intern in Vienna this semester.
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Hallo! Ich heiße Carissa. I’m a Westmont College senior who is double majoring in Music Education and History. I am an enthusiastic musician and play the oboe and English horn. In my not-so-free time, you can usually find me baking cupcakes or cookies, painting, or planting seeds in my garden.