Kale Barnes



I am currently the Director of Bands at Cochrane Collegiate Academy. I graduated with a B.M. in Music Education from Appalachian State University in 2022. My passion is empowering students through music. My values are centered around musical excellence, accessibility, and cultural involvement. My mission is to reach every student with music during their education. Along with this, I plan to expose students to music from different cultures and composers of diverse backgrounds.

"It is the artists of the world, the feelers and the thinkers who will ultimately save us; who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing and shout the big dreams."

Leonard Bernstein 

overview of my philosophy

There are four pillars to my philosophy on music education: the spiral curriculum, effective assessment, accessibility, and students. 

The spiral curriculum was developed by Jerome Bruner and has become a prominent learning theory in education. The spiral curriculum has three stages ranging from the most basic to the most advanced: enactive, iconic, and symbolic. The enactive stage is where students are learning about content hands on through various actions. As students move through the stages, they are building upon their knowledge. The goal of the spiral curriculum is for the students to see content multiple times while adding new material along the way. This allows the students to reinforce their previous knowledge while learning new material. 

Effective assessment is a way to show students their own growth. If a student can actively see themselves making progress on their instrument and in the ensemble, they will be more likely to want to learn more. I will make sure that students are aware of the learning goals for each class, week, and semester in order for them to see their progress. Along with this, I find that only ever telling students the things they are doing wrong is not beneficial to their learning. In my teaching, there is a balance between finding ways to improve and being proud of what the group or individual has accomplished. 

Finally, I am incredibly passionate about making music education as accessible as possible. There should be no barrier between a student and their desire to learn music. I am constantly working and learning about how to create an environment that caters to all students. I will work to create a place where students who don’t want to play a traditional band or orchestra instrument can still find joy in music. Along with this money should not be an issue regarding a student’s music education. Students with disabilities should also be able to participate in music education and I’m prepared to make any accommodations necessary in order to allow disabled students to participate. Gone are the days where band and orchestra were only for the wealthy elite. 

My students are the most important part of my teaching. I would not pursue teaching if it weren’t for the incredible students I’ve worked with and will work with. I am constantly working on my teaching skills in order to create a better learning environment for my students. As Sean Junkins says, “So often you find that the students you’re trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you.”