Rookie Music Teacher Do’s & Don’ts

Sure… They might have thrown a ball at students when they played out of tune (seen it!). Do not comment on this in front of students. Well, who hasn’t conducted with celery sticks and carrots? NO NEW TEACHER COMMENTARY! And of course, when the students tell you, “We just used to take naps in here…” Do not disparage nap time during class (as much as you might be dying inside). Instead, try saying this to the students:
“I know you must have loved your last teacher. She clearly did _________ so brilliantly!”

Is This You? Building Perceptual Awareness in Listening

Listen to the clip once more and this time, point out the times that sounds came into the scene. Ask students to guess what those sounds were. Stop and start the clip as often as you like so that students are refining their observations each time. They may discuss with their team and with the class (10 minutes)
Now, show them the clip with sound. Write down any sounds that they may have missed.

Humor – There is a Place for it During Rehearsals!

Basically, encourage your students to have fun with music and with your class. When I surveyed my students, the vast majority said that their favorite thing about my class was my crazy stories. And I actually don’t tell them all that often, but students remember them. This brings them back day after day for another taste of our favorite thing in the world: music!

Private Teacher/Public Teacher Hostility

So… to sum up my rather whiny post… We must all be open to learning from one another, to experiencing that of a friend, and to welcoming new ideas. We must be aware of a negative attitude we might sometimes portray, for this negativity gives an impression of hostility and a mind trapped in a cage.

Makin’ Music in Juvie

In some cases, the students even were able to re-define themselves instead of as “criminal,” into “musician.” One of the inmates even said, “Instead of getting in trouble, just sitting there and play tunes, and stuff.” One student was so effected that he went so far as to dream about “helping out in the community, yeah. Helping other people learn music. Yeah, teach them,”