So you’re considering life as a music teacher – helping students of music hit the right keys on a piano or strum just the right combination of strings on a guitar. It’s certainly a worthwhile career path!
Still, it’s not all beautiful notes and inspirational stories and it’s a good idea to have a fair idea of a career before you seriously pursue the path.
So here are 3 things to keep in mind as you seriously consider if this is a career path for you.
Diverse Student Backgrounds
Picture a child and a senior in the same class together because it’s certainly possible to have a 7-year-old eager to learn the violin and a retiree starting to explore jazz guitar in the same class.
Even if you specialize in a specific area of music education, such as vocal training, you may work with students of varying vocal ranges, abilities, and musical genres. For instance, one student might be a soprano interested in classical opera, while another might be a baritone aiming for jazz vocals.
If the time comes, what you want to do, rather than view this as an inconvenience, is to embrace the idea of differences in a class and in fact, use it to create a more enriching learning environment.
Varied Teaching Methods
If there’s one thing that is consistent when it comes to teaching, it’s varied teaching methods. Why?
Well, first, different students have different learning styles. For instance, a successful music theory lesson should generally include visual aids like charts and diagrams for a visual learner, while incorporating hands-on activities like rhythm games for a kinesthetic learner.
So, expect a career where you have to prioritize adaptability as it’s a soft skill that allows you to connect with students, meet the challenges of a changing educational landscape, and continually improve your teaching methods to provide the best possible learning experience for your students.
Balancing Structure and Creativity
Balancing structure and creativity is primarily about keeping in mind that while you want to give your students a framework, guidelines, and organized methods of learning, you also want to add depth and personalization to the learning experience in a way that encourages experimentation and self-expression; ultimately nurturing individuality and a deeper understanding of the material.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy thing to do, so expect to struggle with things like:
- Finding the right balance. It can be difficult to determine how much structure to provide without stifling creativity or vice versa
- Managing time. Balancing structured lessons with creative activities often makes time management a challenge
- Assessing progress. It can be tricky to measure progress when students are encouraged to be creative
- Overcoming resistance. Some students may resist structure, while others might struggle with creativity
Really, life as a music teacher is dynamic and filled with opportunities to connect with students from diverse backgrounds, adapt your teaching methods, and inspire creativity within the framework of musical education.