Career Story: Early Childhood Music Tutor

Early Childhood Music Tutor

Job Title: Music Together Teacher/Administrator/Stay At Home Mom

Type of Company: I teach music and movement to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families.

Education: B.A., Theatre/Communication Arts, Marywood University

Previous Experience: I studied theatre in college and went on to work professionally in various theatre companies. I also worked in administration for a food company and gained valuable administrative skills which have allowed me to be the sole administrator for our "Music Together" center. My vocal training and music training led me to a part-time career in music. "Music Together" is music for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers and my experience as a mother of two has made me very qualified for this rewarding job.

Job Tasks: My job is to bring music into the everyday lives of families with small children. I do this in a fun and informal way. Using songs from nine different music collections, I try to demonstrate that all children are musical and that parents and caregivers can teach music to children in much the same way that they teach them language. I sit on the floor in a large circle with all of the families. I lead the families in a hello song, followed by nine or ten others with various rhythms, tonalities and dynamics. Some songs focus on large movement, others focus on small movement. I also play the guitar at least twice during the 45 minute class and use various child-friendly props and instruments that the children and adults can experiment with. I employ a CD for two to three of the songs, allowing the children to listen to the music and dance. Other songs I play have been crafted to allow improvisation, permitting the families to concoct their own lyrics. I like to challenge the families to sing together in a musical round or divide the room into groups and assign each group one musical part to sing and have them put all the parts together. Each class ends with a goodbye song.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing parents bond with their children and give them the gift of musical competence. Each ten-week session brings new and familiar families and I see a lot of progress in each child as they learn to be musical.

The worst part of my work is loading and unloading all of my instruments, music player, bags, etc. and carting them in and out of the places where I teach my classes.

Job Tips: Before becoming a "Music Together" teacher, get as much formal music education as possible and be willing to learn a new instrument. It will make your classes that much more dynamic and enjoyable. Also, you must be completely comfortable with singing in front of people and improvisation. Children are the essence and focus of this career, so spend as much time as you can with very young children and read about or study early childhood development.

Additional Thoughts: To have a career teaching "Music Together," you must be authentic, love music, love children and have fun!

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