What makes for an effective music teacher? Every music teacher has up and down days, and even some school years that are better than others. However consistent excellence is what we all can and should strive for. To accomplish this, consistent habits that lead to excellence need to be practiced.
I wanted to suggest some habits that I think are important for effective music teaching.
Effective Music Teachers make habits of:
- Being cheerful and positive (even when they do not feel like it)
- Being organized in class/rehearsal
- Making sure their students know they care about them (even the difficult students)
- Giving honest, genuine, and positive feedback to their students
- Doing things outside of the school setting to make sure their personal energy is charged (don’t underestimate the importance of “you” time)
- Studying and advancing themselves musically
- Analyzing their own teaching and strengthening areas that need growth
- Practicing good people skills with colleagues and administration (even the difficult colleagues)
There are many more good habits of course, but missing any of these could cause significant difficulty is some area of one’s music teaching experience.
We all should desire to improve and grow as music teachers, and by dedicated effort and learning, we can. But, good habits do not form randomly, but by definition must be repeated over and over. Let us be intentional about practicing good habits in the classroom/rehearsal room.
A saying I am fond of sharing with my singers is, “If you want to be a good choir, you do the things that good choirs do, because doing those things are why they are good.” (my saying) In other words, good choirs aren’t good, and then have excellent habits in rehearsal, but rather good choirs are good because they have excellent habits in rehearsal. This is true of music teachers and conductors as well. One is not a “good” teacher/conductor and then has excellent habits, one is good because one has and practices excellent habits.
If you want to be a good music teacher, do the things that good music teachers do.
I believe God gives us our talent, it is up to us to cultivate and use it.
To Him be the glory!