Career Story: High School Music Teacher

High School Music Teacher

Job Title: High School Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district on Cape Cod.

Education: Bachelors of Music Education, MM, New England Conservatory of Music

Previous Experience: I have taught general music in grades K-12 and worked as a choir director. I've also taught, and continue to teach, private voice lessons at a local Conservatory and have directed and sung in various church choirs.

Job Tasks: I start work each day at 6:30AM. Students arrive at 7 and classes begin at 7:25. I am responsible for choosing, ordering and teaching choral music to students in grades 7 through 12 as well as writing curriculum and keeping up my state teaching certification by taking appropriate graduate courses. The students choose my classes (only 1 Fine Arts credit is required for graduation), so if they are not interested or intrigued with the selection, they do not register. This is good because I only get people who are serious about music and singing, but if my courses are not interesting, fun, challenging and fulfilling, no one will sign up and my job will not exist.

I think that some of the things that a student may not realize about my job include the fact that there is much more involved than simply teaching and preparing lessons. There is a tremendous amount of interaction with students which requires setting time aside to listen to and help troubled students. Students come into my classroom from before 7 AM until long after our evening rehearsals are over to talk about their life choices, problems and sometimes just to "hang". I need to find time for them and hope that the words I offer will help them. Just being there means a lot and many teachers spend a great deal of (unpaid) time being there for the kids. We go to their games, are active in interscholastic events and music teachers participate with their students in many weekend and evening concerts, music festivals, performances and competitions.

There is a lot of organizational and administrative work that also goes into this job. You become an event planner (most choirs perform in the community and tour many times each year), production manager (concerts require a tremendous amount of planning), accountant (fund raising, budget planning) and publicity agent.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the love you give and get back from you kids in return. They are amazing and when you give them all you've got, they will reward you by doing the same. It is very inspiring and rewarding to see the improvement by the time they reach their senior year.

The worst part is the lack of understanding and respect from many uninformed members of the community. People labor under a lot of false impressions about teachers. Some may have had bad experiences at some point that colored their judgement, or they are simply ill-informed, but there is a strong feeling that we do not work hard enough and that we are paid too much. Music also is looked upon as an unimportant subject. I feel that I have been fighting for my entire thirty-three year career to make my school, administration and community realize how important the Arts are to a child's education.

Job Tips: There is NEVER a dull moment. Boredom will not be part of your life!

Never stop remembering that the students are the reason you do this. They are the BEST!

There is no more rewarding career. You hold these kids' future in your hands.

Popular Schools offering Music Education Teaching Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.

  • Programs: Master of Education - TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), Master of Education in Teaching & Learning, Master of Education (M.ED.), more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate

Are you ready to advance or start your career inspiring minds and changing lives? Apply to join GCU's prestigious teaching community.

  • Programs: M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, M.A. in Gifted Education, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

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

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

  • Programs: MA in Worship Studies - Ethnomusicology, MA Worship - Ethnomusicology , Doctor of Education: Curriculum and Instruction, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate, Bachelor

Ashford University

  • Programs: Education, Technology & Online Learning - Bachelors, Education, Technology & Online Learning - Masters, Higher Education - Bachelors, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

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

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

  • Programs: Doctor of Education in Organizatonal Leadership - Higher Education Track, Master of Education in Higher Education , Doctor of Education in Organizatonal Leadership, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: Online Accelerated Teaching Certification , MS in Education - Instructional Technology - Master's Only, MS in Education - Secondary Education
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master

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

Concordia University, Nebraska offers accredited Master of Education and Master of Science degree programs online to help advance your career and become a transformative leader.

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with ESL/ELL Emphasis, M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology Leadership Emphasis, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, more...
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Secondary School Teachers

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.

All Types

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 Secondary School Teachers, including:

Back to Top