Author: klorimier

What if you injured your hand and couldn’t play your instrument? What if you developed a chronic illness? What if you were diagnosed with cancer and needed months’ long treatment? These are questions no one wants to face. Especially, small businesses or those who work for themselves. Health insurance is expensive and disability insurance even more so. After all, we think we are invincible. Things like...

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mqu9MRaDo you offer make-up lessons? Do you require 24-hour advanced notice? Are there make-up lessons built into your semester or yearly calendar? Do your make-up lessons ever bleed over into summer lessons eating away at your precious summer income? Do make-up lessons make you feel stressed, overworked or manipulated?

In teacher training classes, at conferences, and among music teacher friends, this is one of the most heated topics I hear about. Most people have a strong opinion one way or another. If you are an active performer and expect lots of flexibility from your students to accommodate your performing schedule, you may be one of the teachers IN FAVOR of make-up lessons. If you, on the other hand, are someone with a tight child-care schedule or teaching space limitations, you may be COMPLETELY AGAINST make-up lessons. For community music schools, preparatory divisions, or multi-teacher co-operatives, the topic of make-up lessons probably fuels many of your faculty meetings.

mtJG4LWAs the end of March approaches, I am aware that there are just a few short months until summer. For music teachers, summer brings change. It may mean more work, it may mean less, it may be a stressful time because of money worries, or a relaxed time because of advanced planning and clear expectations. But no matter what your summer holds for you this year, chances are that it will be a break from your typical weekly music teaching schedule.

From the time we were young children, going to school was a given, an expectation. For many of us, that pattern of school year/summer break continued well into adulthood with college and often, further advanced degrees. But then, one day, it stopped. No more required exams. No more automatic private lessons on our instrument. No more crunch time at the end of each semester. Most of us breathed a sigh of relief. We began working, teaching, performing, auditioning, all the while acquiring new skills as we began our professional music careers.

Then one day we all come to a point of feeling comfortable in our career. We know the landscape. We are good, solid teachers and performers. We have enough students and gigs to pay the bills. But is “comfortable” enough? Do you feel knowledgable about the new technology available to music teachers? Have you expanded your repertoire of music, of teaching ideas, of different learning styles? Are you caught up on the current music education research and methodologies?