Career Story: Music And Movement Instructor At A Pre-School

Music And Movement Instructor At A Pre-School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a public school system in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts.

Education: BS, Education (both Early Childhood Education and Moderate Special Needs), Wheelock College •• M.Ed, Reading & Language, UMass-Lowell

Previous Experience: I worked with children in pre-school and childcare settings as much as possible during college. Upon graduation I worked in two different public schools as a special educator in grades pre-k through three. I left the public schools, working for eight years at a non-profit agency as a program director. There I planned and implemented after-school and summer programs for girls ages 6 through 14 in the city. Following this, I returned to the public school setting teaching in an integrated pre-school classroom as both a "special" and "regular" educator. Most recently I have been teaching music and movement in the same school working with toddlers, pre-schoolers and kindergartners.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for planning music and movement activities for toddlers, pre-schoolers and kindergartners. Depending on the day, I see as many as eight groups ranging in size from 6 to 20 children. Most of the time, there is a classroom assistant who comes with the group, though she is usually there to provide support for the children with identified special needs. I see each group for thirty minutes and generally have five minutes between each group. I teach a variety of children's songs, sometimes with a CD sometimes without. I try to incorporate a movement component into every song I introduce. Because the curriculum within the classroom is becoming more demanding with a good deal of paper and pencil tasks, the children need to have an opportunity to move their bodies. Sometimes I include a group game that does not have music featured. I try to infuse a number of relaxation strategies, helping the children to become more aware of their breathing and also the need to give their bodies a break after hard work.

In addition to my direct teaching responsibilities, I supervise recess two days a week.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: For this particular position, there is no curriculum guide, so I am free to seek out resources and plan activities that meet the needs of the groups I work with. At times this flexibility is a gift, because it gives me the opportunity to be creative and incorporate a number of different ideas and approaches including stress relieving strategies and relaxation. At other times it is difficult because each group is quite different with its own set of challenges. I am finding more often that body awareness is not something that comes naturally to young children, particularly with the influx of television, video games and computers in their lives. Consequently, when teaching a game or song that requires a group of 18-20 children to move their bodies throughout our space, there are usually several children who have difficulty with this task. They might bump into others, fall down, go too fast, or simply find it challenging to navigate the space and the people in it.

Seeing the positive responses to the relaxation strategies or to one of the activities is often very rewarding. Seeing growth over time is also one of the best parts of the job. On the other hand, it can be very disheartening to see children who struggle throughout the year and do not make substantial progress.

Job Tips:
1. Seek out mentors, other teachers who inspire you...and observe them, talk with them about your ideas, challenges and successes. Don't be afraid to reach out!

2. Reflect on what you do and find time to examine your practice on a regular basis so you can continue to grow and learn.

3. Be creative and let your enthusiasm shine through to your students...you'll find that it can be contagious.

Popular Schools offering Early Childhood Education Programs

quickinfoThese 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.

Matching School Ads

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.

  • Programs: AA/Early Childhood Education, MA/Education - Child Development, BA/Early Childhood Education, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Master, Bachelor

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.

  • Programs: M.Ed. - Program Specialist in Early Childhood Specialist, M.Ed. Teaching and Learning - Elementary Education , MA in Teaching - Elementary Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Early Childhood Education - EdS, Early Childhood Education - Doctor of Education, Early Childhood Education - PhD in Education, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education, M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies, M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Early Childhood Education (Certificate Only) - Online, Early Childhood Education (MEd plus Certification) - Online, Early Childhood Education (Master of Education) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

  • Programs: MS - Teaching and Learning
  • Degrees: Master

Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Degrees: Master

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology, PhD in Instructional Design and Technology
  • Degrees: Certificate, Doctorate

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

  • Programs: Instructional Design & Technology
  • Degrees: Master

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Elementary Mathematics - Additional Endorsement - Certificate
  • Degrees: Certificate
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

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:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Preschool Teachers, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104