Updated: Jul 28, 2019


August 2009 was my first year of teaching music and I was excited to build a dynamic program! I had my music selected for my first concert, my classroom was decorated, and I had printed my class rosters to start the process of memorizing student names. Little did I know, teaching music would not be the toughest task that I would have to complete as a young music teacher. After my first year of teaching I began to realize that I did much more than teach music.

Let me give you a few examples:

  • What do you do when a student loses a parent?

  • How do you manage a student who loves music, but dislikes all their other academic classes?

  • How will you advocate for students who other teachers write off as “no good” or “too bad”?

  • How do you communicate effectively with parents?

As I continued teaching, I began to run into all these dynamics in the various schools I served. I soon learned to be an effective music teacher that I would have to do much more than teach music.

The image above says it all. Teachers play a pivotal role in the growth and development of students. Without teachers many students would not have a parental figure, confidante, or simply an adult in their life that they trust. I’ve learned over the years that my calling is to teach much more than music.

Music is the vehicle I use to teach character development, teamwork, life skills, and common sense.

I would argue that if you just teach your subject and leave what you are doing, our children a disservice. At this point in time, we need teachers who are “all in” for our students. Now, more than ever, our children are desperately seeking structure, discipline, and LOVE.

Questions for Personal Reflection

  • How do I become more than a music teacher?

  • Is there a need at your school? What is it? Do you have the skillset to fulfill that need?

  • In what ways have you been more than a music teacher in the past?

  • Is there a way to connect life skills into your music lessons?

  • Are you willing to stand in the gap for the “unpopular students”? When I say "unpopular students," I’m talking about the students that no one wants in their class or that have a stigma of being difficult to manage or teach.

  • Will you be willing to share your techniques/strategies with other colleagues?

I challenge you . . .

  • To be more than a music teacher.

  • To see the best in every child.

  • To see the cup half full rather than half empty.

  • To reflect on your teaching practices and to consider new avenues or approaches to reach all students.

  • To self-reflect to identify your strengths and weaknesses as an educator.

  • To write down your successes and your failures from the previous school year and truly reflect on what you do well and what needs more work.

Through this process you will begin to craft your victory plan of being more than a music teacher.

With all of that said, when you see me wear my shirt “More Than A Music Teacher,” now you know exactly what I mean. To purchase the shirt Click Here.

Please share your stories of triumph by using the hashtag #MoreThanAMusicTeacher on social media to advocate for our profession and to share the miraculous stories of what music education can do for our school communities.

Let’s stay connected. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @Fwillismusic.

Always remember, you are #MoreThanAMusicTeacher


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