Most teachers are awesome and go above and beyond for their ‘kids’. You’re even more so if you’re a music teacher, because:
- You’re performing all the time. Ofsted call it modelling, but you spend most of your time demonstrating ‘what a good performance looks like’.
- You have to be pretty fit. The pupils can’t easily bring their work to you, so you end up doing laps of your classroom all lesson. More so if there are pupils working elsewhere or in practice rooms.
- You’re giving your kids weapons. Literally- beaters. That’s all I’m saying.
- You need to be a mind reader so that you know they’re actually doing work in the practice room and not playing on Facebook.
- You have to put a lot of trust in your pupils and have earned their respect. See number 4. And the fact that you’re handing out expensive equipment every lesson.
- You put up with hours of noise. From about 8am-5pm most days. Yes, they might all be playing music, but when you can hear 5 different songs (and more) going on at the same time, it starts to become noise. And all through your ‘break’ times.
- You’re sometimes not as good as the pupils you’re teaching. It happens. There’s always a pupil who can play the piano or sing better than you. Guitar is definitely my downfall. But they do come in handy for modelling…
- You have to keep up with the charts so you know what your pupils are listening to. I happen to love Taylor Swift. Justin Bieber and Rihanna less so.
- Your classroom management needs to be amazing so that you can get all 30 instruments quiet at one time and don’t end up putting them all away yourself at the end of the lesson.
- You need to be able to play piano, sing and correct behaviour at the same time. This also earns you massive respect!
- Your hearing has to be amazing so you can spot who’s got the keyboard demo going without looking. And so you can tell what they’re doing in practice rooms through 2 walls and a door over the other ‘noise’.
- You’re inventive in repairing broken kit. Gaffa tape is amazing. Or you manage to persuade other people to do it for you for free!
- You have to be able to play random requests on the spot. My best on the spot rendition was Dappy No Regrets on a diatonic glockenspiel with two notes missing. I accidentally managed to get the right key and avoid needing those notes by sheer fluke! It earned me a fist bump though.
- Your party trick is being able to tune several guitars in 30 seconds by ear without going near a piano and even with missing strings.
- You’ll probably end up choreographing dance routines at some point. Glee and Pitch Perfect have a lot to answer for…
- You have to be able to fill in for anyone or anything at the last minute. Even if it means learning trumpet in 15 minutes because someone was sick before the performance. Or dancing aforementioned dance routine.
- You willingly give up your evenings and weekends for concerts and performances, on top of all the ‘normal’ teacher activities.
- You play the role of motivator, counsellor, and parent on concert night, as well as stage manager. Not everyone’s mum can make it. At least one will cry from nerves. Someone will have an argument (again because of nerves).
- You’re able to piece together a PA system with key bits of kit missing and without blowing anything up. And still make it safe in time for the concert.
- You’re simultaneously the most nervous and proud you’ve ever been when you’re watching your pupils perform. Because pupils doing well on-stage makes it all worthwhile.
Photo: Stock Google Image