Job Title: Music Teacher
Type of Company: I work for a school district on Cape Cod.
Education: Masters, Education
Previous Experience: I worked as a recreation director as a young person.
Job Tasks: I work with 7th and 8th graders who have elected chorus, band or orchestra in their schedule. I enjoy working with junior high students and seeing how their study of music can enhance their lives. I see students in groups of 15-26. They all play different instruments and their abilities vary widely. I have 5 groups every other day and teach 160 students each week with small groups of jazz singers and players and small ensembles before and after school. I take the chorus and band to a judging festival each year so that they learn from professionals where they rate against other students their age, while at the same time building teamwork and school pride as we represent our town and school.
My challenge is to make sure that students know that it doesn't matter how much skill they already have, but that it is my job to help them learn from there. I also want them to know that they are important to the whole ensemble and that they make a difference. We make each other look and sound better with our contributions. I hope that they learn this as a life lesson too because the quality of our lives depends on our attitude. Students are used to playing sports where you try out and either get eliminated or, when you make a mistake, are asked to sit out instead of playing the game. In a chorus or band, everyone's performance is important to the whole team and errors in playing/singing aren't going to force anyone to the bench.
Another focus of my job is to educate students and parents about the value of a fine arts education. Evidence of the value of music education grows each week as research continues to show the growth in brain connections in turn help critical thinking skills and math connections. The study of music in school also improves self-discipline, cooperative learning and the development of an overarching sense of aesthetics. I believe that students become more sensitive people through their study of music. I think that making music is food for the soul to us all.
I also work with young drama students each year in producing a musical with the help of high school students as assistant directors. Students learn staging, stage craft, singing, dancing, costuming and acting skills. Students have to audition and learn from high school students who become wonderful mentors for them.
Though I would love to have students want to be professional musicians or teachers, I really want students to know that they can make music all of their lives thus improving the quality of their lives.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The most enjoyable part of teaching is witnessing the enthusiasm of students learning and succeeding in making good quality music. I love seeing students want to learn more music and request extra help with their studies. I love seeing students work together who might not normally be friends.
I dislike assigning grades to students twice a term. I want to be honest with the grade that a student should receive, but I want to be encouraging. Very few students are naturally talented or gifted, but all students can learn with time and encouragement.
Job Tips: I would encourage future music teachers to observe as many teachers as possible and pay attention to their their teaching styles. Learn to play the piano as well as possible, and to sing as well as possible. Students deserve a teacher who is professional but who also loves kids. It has helped me to learn as many different styles of music as possible so that I can provide for student differences and interests.
Additional Thoughts: There are two points that I would make in considering a teaching as a profession. First, though I have been teaching for 31 years, every year and every day is interesting because every child is different and every group dynamic is different, challenging and exciting. I want to be better every year for my students,and aware of every student's needs so that I can reach them.
Secondly, I have been involved in the state music education association which has allowed me the opportunity to work with talented educators to advocate for music education in the state, to provide opportunity for students beyond their school and to mentor young teachers. I have appreciated the friends I've made during these years of leadership service.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
LSU Shreveport is a proud member of the acclaimed LSU University System.
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
Columbus State University is committed to delivering a deeply personal and relevant academic experience that prepares graduates to excel in their professions and to become leaders who guide, influence and inspire positive change.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
The University of West Florida (UWF) has a central mission.
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
Building on an innovative 25-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos, the University is just a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the US-Mexico border. CSUSM enrollment is over 15,000 and the university is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Middle School Teachers, including: