So this blog is just kind of filling a hole I discovered while completing my bachelors degree in Music Education. I recently graduated with said degree, and accepted a position teaching 5-12 grade band in a relatively small district! I was beyond excited to get started preparing for the upcoming year. However, I found a disturbing lack of helpful tips for people in my shoes…
There are tons of blogs about being a teacher. However, most of these are geared towards “core” teachers, or teachers of the subjects everyone takes (science, math, etc.). So I searched for blogs about new music teachers. This led to a lot of stuff about general or elementary music classes, for grades k-5 (usually). While this is still helpful, I couldn’t find anything for people like me: a freshly graduated, young, new band director. I found some articles from conferences, and the different associations for instrumental music, but I was really looking for something geared towards a 22 year old teacher who wants to jump in feet first, not just lesson planning and engaged rehearsals. I knew all this stuff was important, but what about connecting with the students when they know you’re only a few years older than them? What about figuring out how all the money stuff works? What about how to pick a marching band show, how to organize a music library, how to hold auditions, and how to not be obviously inexperienced in every way? How do I make my classroom fun and inviting without looking stupid?
These questions were the ones I was asking. And alas, there was no one to answer them in a voice that sounded like mine: young. Advice from experienced teachers is great. But I know the longer you’ve been teaching, the harder it can be to remember just how scary it is to start teaching.
So I’m filling that need. I’ll document my experiences as a new band director to the best of my ability, without divulging details about my school or students. I’ll answer those questions myself as I go along, and that way, maybe some future band director right out of college will have a place to read and see that it will work out, and you can be good teacher, and all those other things. I’ll also post ideas on how to stay sane, especially during marching season, and how to keep work and home mostly separate. So in end, this is kind of a big diary about how I manage to make it through the start of my career!