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What is the hardest part about being a music teacher, and what is the best part about teaching music?

I'm planning on getting my degree in music education (possibly with a choral specialization) and I'm curious as to what the most difficult and most rewarding parts of teaching music are. What can I expect when I start teaching? Are there any skills I can start working on to help overcome difficulties, and what should I keep in mind as I work on my degree and as I enter the classroom? Is there anything you wish you had known? I've had a lot of experience with choral music, and I'm a student director for a younger ensemble (9-12 years old). This is definitely my passion-and definitely my future job- but I was curious about the experiences of professional music educators on the topic. Any advice you could give me would be appreciated, and I look forward to hearing more about my future career.
#musiceducation #music #music-education #choral-music #questions #teaching #teacher

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Candace’s Answer

Hi Kylie!

Being a elementary music teacher is extremely rewarding! As an extra curricular teacher you get to see and impact ALL of the students in the school. One of the hardest parts of seeing ALL of the students is memorizing their names and getting to know each of them in a meaningful way. Putting on the grade level presentations/musicals is really fun and generally elementary schools have a select choir for the older students and that will be fun for you to lead. Generally music is everyone's favorite class because it's light and fun! It's always great to be everybody's favorite class!

I agree with Lissa that securing a position might be challenging but you might consider not only public schools but charter and private schools as well. Generally charter and private schools don't pay as much as public schools but they have some really cool benefits that public schools don't have.

Another option for additional funds would be to teach private lessons each day after school. I taught piano and voice when the school day ended and it definitely helped my overall income.

I wish you the best of luck!

Candace recommends the following next steps:

Attend your state-wide music teacher conference this year
Visit the classroom of a few music teachers in your area

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Lissa’s Answer


With budgeting issues in education today, the HARDEST part about being a music teacher would be finding and securing a position. Many schools throughout the country are losing their music programs due to a lack of funding. I am not stating this to discourage you, but to ensure that you consider other options, such as giving private lessons, or as an after school program.

On the other hand, the BEST part about teaching music is how rewarding it will be to teach a student a life-long skill....as well as to sit back and "hear" the benefits of your labor. The ability to play a musical instrument can be life-changing!!

Good luck with your "musical" endeavors!!