What’s the most helpful thing you learned during your music education classes in college or during student teaching?
- How to actually teach rhythm
- Woodwind and brass tech classes
- How to diagnose woodwind playing issues
- Fingerings class with Dr. Garner (learning all fingerings for all instruments at 100% to pass)
- Pedagogy of the instruments (x2)
- How to “teach beginners” on each instrument (x3)
- Hands on playing of various instruments (x6)
- Pick one instrument each year and work really hard to learn it so you can play at a class A or class B level. This will keep your students wanting to practice too!
- The harmonic series
Working With Others
- No one is the enemy unless you make them that way.
- Positive relationships with EVERYONE are the key to success!
- The school maintenance staff and the school secretaries are your most important people in a school, work well with them and thank them often. (x7)
- To avoid other people’s drama.
- Don’t debate with people…..work and plan it out.
- Go into any kind of meeting with an idea of the various outcomes that could take place and have a good idea of the outcome you really want.
- Be flexible and open to change (x2)
- Respect differences in opinion. (x2)
Promoting your Program
- How to advocate for my own program
- Always leaving my wish list with a principal has come in handy.
- Develop a rapport with students, faculty, administration, and parents.
- Sectionals are key to a superior band
- Becoming familiar with repertoire
- Rehearsal techniques (x2)
- Never turn your back on a saxophone section
- What to listen for in music
- The importance of eye contact when conducting. Memorize your scores!
- Dress rehearsals are for making weird last mistakes. Don’t freak out or you’ll freak everyone out.
- Talk less, play more. (x2)
- Keeping music at the center of the class will help solve classroom management issues. (x2)
- Not to over program.
- Practice until you can’t get it wrong.
- Tons of analogies for everything–especially helpful teaching beginners
- The personality of the director directly influences the personality of the ensemble.
- Fake it ‘til you make it.
- Plan as far in advance as possible. Plan the concepts you want to teach, find the literature that addresses it, and work arduously to that end. (x8)
- Time management
- How to switch it up on a dime. When one strategy isn’t working, how to teach it a different way or switch it up quickly to keep students engaged.
- We teach people. Band/music is our medium, but always know that our job is to teach people. Never teach to the song/piece of music. You have to teach the whole individual whenever you can.
- To have compassion for our students.
- Put yourself in your students’ shoes and always analyze what you’re doing from their perspective.
- When something doesn’t go as planned don’t blame the students, self-assess. (x2)
- Students love to help with classroom duties and giving them small “jobs” both takes a load off of you as a teacher and makes them feel more included.
- Emotional objectivity when students misbehave
- Students live up to your expectations
- If you expect it, the kids can achieve it. They are only held back by you.
- The kids really want to be able to connect with you.
Never Stop Learning
- It’s OK to be wrong
- Never be afraid to seek help or ways to improve.
- Ask questions! Mentors are incredibly important to getting your career off to a strong start.
- ALWAYS be in search of excellence. Why settle for less?
- NEVER STOP LEARNING!
Tips on Teaching Intonation (from 60+ Band Directors)
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