I am so happy to be posting about such an important subject this week. This is something that has actually been on my mind a lot this school year and I’m excited to be able to share my personal experiences along with some fabulous other bloggers. I’ve chosen to share some photos from my personal Instagram account to illustrate this post. Make sure to read all the way through to the end to find out the details about the giveaway!
I am currently in my fifth year of teaching, which means I am still a relatively new teacher. In college, they told us that most of us would not last longer than five years teaching in the public schools. As I approach that deadline, I can understand why some people would feel that way.
Teaching music is a hard and often thankless job. Many of us balance our regular teaching responsibilities with the added stress of preparing concert programs and special events in the school. We spend our planning time working individually with students and going to meetings to learn how to better meet their needs. We teach hundreds of children every week and have to figure out how to share the joy of music with them. Hopefully we do so in a way that will motivate them to continue listening to, performing and creating music for the rest of their lives.
"But what is it that makes us keep coming back? For me, it is the same reason I started in the first place: I love making music!"However, despite all of the stressful and challenging factors I just mentioned, we keep going. We return to the trenches day after day. But what is it that makes us keep coming back? For me, it is the same reason I started in the first place: I love making music! To me there is no greater joy than learning a new piece and performing it in front of an audience.
When I first moved to the Baltimore area and started teaching, my school responsibilities overwhelmed my life. As a brand new teacher, I spent every spare minute after work and on weekends planning lessons and searching for the best ways to reach my students. Now that I have at least a few years under my belt, I feel more confident in my daily teaching responsibilities. I am able to spend my time outside of school taking care of myself and doing something that I truly love.
I have started a new professional venture this year that has reminded me why I wanted to be a music teacher... I joined the Baltimore Choral Arts Society!
It’s by far the best decision I’ve made to improve my personal outlook and improve my teaching. I am going to rehearsals every week and performing regularly with ensembles like the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. I am learning new, challenging repertoire as well as singing choral standards like Orff’s Carmina Burana and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Every rehearsal and performance is a reminder of why I do what I do: because music is a powerful emotional and communicative force.
The more time I spend perfecting my craft outside of school, the more confident I feel in teaching music to my students. I feel renewed and refreshed. I love being able to tell my students about my rehearsals and performances because it shows them that teachers are lifelong learners. I also love being able to invite my friends and family to come hear my concerts and share my artistic endeavors with them.
Singing with Choral Arts has also motivated me to do some self-care by staying conscious of how I use my voice during the school day. Since I am singing semi-professionally I need to take good care of my instrument and practice good vocal hygiene. I am paying much more attention to how I conserve my speaking and singing voice and I use amplification while teaching. Most importantly, I am trying my best to stay properly hydrated! This is so important for people who use their voice constantly.
For me, singing with Choral Arts has been exactly the reminder I needed of why I teach music. I’d love to hear about why you, my dear readers, are in the music education field! Share your story on social media with this hashtag:
Don't forget to include this link back to my blog so that others can enter, too!
If you comment on my post here or share it on social media, you will be entered into a giveaway to win the following prize:
- A water bottle to help you make sure you stay hydrated while you’re teaching
- Some Mozart chocolates because every teacher needs a little pick-me-up.
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