By Brendan Lai-Tong
Life as a music teacher can be an exceptionally fun and rewarding experience. The ability to share the knowledge of music with clarity and a twist of fun is a great gift. Unfortunately, music teachers seldom receive credit for helping students build upon and utilize their interpersonal, time-management and teamwork skills through the act of music making. Students learn these lessons and many more that can be transferred to all aspects of life by being involved in music.
I’m sure you all know that being a well informed and organized teacher is essential to being successful. Guiding a classroom or studio of over 30 students certainly doesn’t happen on its own and this can quickly become a daunting task even for the most hardened of music teacher veterans.
The first step is to create a plan. Goal setting is a great way to track your student’s progress as the year goes on. Check out the Music Teacher Plan-It:
This one-of-a-kind resource is packed with helpful charts, calendars, & ideas to help you stay organized and plan ahead for the whole school year. Highlights include: 40 weekly lesson plan charts, 10 monthly calendars with Music Fast Facts, seating charts for general music and choirs, and over 40 special music activities. In addition, there are reproducible forms for student information, class list charts, assessments rubrics based on the National Standards and lesson descriptions. Don’t start a new school year without this handy music planner!
The next step is to try and integrate technology into the classroom curriculum. Utilizing technology in lessons can be a great way to keep students interested and engaged. The book YouTube in Music Education is a great way to do just that!
The book walks through how to create, edit and post videos on YouTube and comes with over 50 strategies for integrating YouTube into your music classroom curriculum. Start providing more engaging lessons for your students today!
The two online tools below are great for any music teacher:
Ricci Adams’ musictheory.net – http://www.musictheory.net/
This site is the ultimate music theory and ear training resource. There are free online lessons, tools and exercises pertaining to the basics of music theory, rhythm, meter, scales, key signatures, intervals, chords and more.
Music Teachers Helper – http://www.musicteachershelper.com/
This site is a great all-inclusive package built for music teachers. They offer a live calendar, automatic lesson reminders, track lesson progress, automatic billing and more.
I hope that you enjoyed this brief overview of resources I think are useful for music teachers. I’m sure that there are many more out there that I missed. What resources do you use to help teach music?
Brendan Lai-Tong is the Assistant Marketing Manager at Sheet Music Plus and holds degrees in trombone performance from University of Miami and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.