Thursday, February 18, 2010

The First 3 Years Teaching Music

I was reading a very good article in the February 2010 edition of Teaching Music magazine which is a publication of the MENC organization called “Advice for the First 3 Years.” It offered suggestions for what beginning music teachers can do to “gird themselves for challenges of the profession.” I think this is true for both the private music educator and the public music teacher. With Kindermusik, the first three years are also the most challenging. During this time, new teachers are still learning the curriculum and how to make magic in the classroom. They are communicating with the children, their parents or caregivers, the Partnership of Kindermusik Educators, and the home office. They haven’t yet developed personal experience to draw from in times of difficulty. Our experience, like the article, is that if the educator can come through these first 3 years with positive feelings about the experience, their achievements, etc., they will most likely remain in the profession for a while. The veteran educators in the article had this advice:

  • Isolation is a big issue in year one for the new teacher. Hold on to the community of people that you trained with and don’t let them go. Post blogs, start a FaceBook page, make cell phone calls, whatever works best. Make intentional efforts to stay connected.
  • Classroom Management can also be a major concern. Remember, sometimes it is not the children that need the fix, but the teacher. Have someone come in and observe your classes to provide open, honest and direct feedback.
  • Be sure to be student focused. The child should be first.
  • Find out what you don’t know and go learn more; be a lifelong learner.
  • Remember who you were at your student’s ages.
  • A lot can be learned by trial and error.
  • Mentoring is extremely important. Accept help that is provided.
  • Pride should not get in the way. Be willing and comfortable to ask questions. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
  • Focus energy on making a difference where you can.
  • Be sure there is a mechanism in place to help you examine, reflect, and grow in your teaching practices that is completely separate from a formal evaluation.

With Kindermusik, we support new educators every step of the way. The experience begins with a comprehensive training program, including four practice teaching classes to gain comfort and experience before the course is even completed. During the online experience, she will learn the philosophy, pedagogy, curriculum and business aspects of establishing and running a successful Kindermusik program. The learning group consists of 15 to 20 other potential teachers from all over the world and is facilitated by a mentor who has successfully run a Kindermusik program for many years. This environment provides both peer-to-peer and mentor-to-peer learning. In fact, the mentor will partner with her as a business coach through the first teaching semester providing success steps throughout. We have an extensive library of pre-recorded webinars that will provide on-going professional development from both the masterful teaching perspective and to help build a successful program. In addition, we make marketing and enrollment easy with tools through our class scheduler and online enrollment system.

The first 3 years don't have to be difficult at all. Start today on your journey to complete your life's best work with Kindermusik.

Posted by: Terry P. Kilgo, Recruiting Manager

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Now is a great time to become an Educator

We currently have about 604 Kindermusik educators worldwide who are looking to grow and expand their programs. They are looking for quality teachers to join their teams. Training to become certified is more economical than ever now. If you are planning to work for an educator, you can get started for as little as $199. Feel free to visit our teaching opportunities board at to see who is hiring in your community.