For all those of you wondering if you should take your music skills to the next level and turn it into a career then I would strongly recommend you consider music education.
I know – teaching, teachers and students get such a bad press! So why would I advocate for music teaching after all these years?
- You get to do music everyday!
Nearly every day of my 25 years of teaching I have been creating, playing or talking passionately about music. You will never come into teaching totally prepared but you will learn so much about music and become such an awesome practitioner. I am able to conduct, arrange, compose, direct shows, design lighting, teach drama, use music software and so much more that university never taught me. And in truth, no college could teach you everything you need to know. But, there will be colleagues and friends who will be willing to help you along the way in becoming an awesome musician and teacher.
2. You get to share you love of music with others!
Ok, it’s a bit cliché, but the students really do make the job worthwhile! Who was that special person who started your love of music? Family, friends, a music teacher? Well when you become a teacher you can become that person to all the students in your class. You get the opportunity to watch them grow from beginners to confident performers, composers, creaters and young people. The shows, concerts, trips and tours will be part of your student’s school memories long after leaving school and that is a gift you give to them all. I still have students who are in contact, now successful adults in their own right, and I love it when they reminise about shows, concerts and rehearsals we did together. Giving the gift of music to the next generation is super rewarding!
3. A great career with plenty of opportunities!
So although teaching is stressful and busy in term times – it is a good career that is generally well-paid and secure. There will be plenty of opportunities for career progression whether you work in private or public schools, universities or work for a music school. Over my career I have been a teacher of music and drama, Head of department, Head of Performing Arts, been on numerous working groups and currently chair the Bermuda Middle School music team and was asked to write the brand new national curriculum for Bermuda. I have worked in the UK, Switzerland and Bermuda because I am a qualified teacher and I am not sure I would have had these amazing opportunities otherwise. Teaching internationally has helped me grow as an educator, musician and as a person. I have grown to appreciate other cultures, met great students and colleagues and seen some amazing places and had amazing experiences.
So, seriously, if you are passionate about music then you should consider music education as a career. Want to know more about what it takes to be a teacher, then why not sign up to one of my coaching courses.
One of the biggest challenges of learning a musical instrument is balancing your weekly practice, particularly for teenagers and adult learners. Many people feel guilty because they don’t practice enough each week and are self-critical on themselves. If this sounds familiar then this might be because you have been told you need to practice every day for big chunks of time.
If you are new to the clarinet then knowing how to set it up can be quite confusing. Here are my quick tips for success:
So you just got a new musical instrument for Christmas and you are super excited to start learning your favourite pieces! You set up the new instrument and then dive over to Google or Youtube to find a starter piece to learn. Sorted! This music making business is easy – right??