Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Keeping it Fresh

One of the things I have struggled with over the years is keeping my job fresh. I love teaching, and I’ve been doing it for about 6 years now. Still, I have to constantly think of new ways to keep it exciting. I would love to know how you keep your job fun and “new feeling”. Here are a few things I’ve been doing:

1. LEARNING NEW INSTRUMENTS

I started fiddling around with different instruments like the banjo and the mandolin. I’m not very good at them, but I learn fast and it’s so exciting to learn how to make new sounds! I find that learning new things in general put me in my students shoes, too. When I get excited I realize that that’s how my students feel when they accomplish something, and when I get frustrated, I empathize with that too.

2. LEARN TO DANCE

I started belly dancing and salsa dancing just before summer started, and getting in touch with these dance forms really opened my eyes. Having to listen to international music styles that I normally don’t play or listen too was fantastic. When I learned a new dance move to go with a particular beat, I felt a new appreciation for different rhythms. I learned how to “feel” the music on a whole different level. 

3. LEARN A DIFFERENT APPROACH

As teachers, we all tend to have a particular teaching style that we stick with. Well, recently my approaches were challenged when I read a book on child development titled, “The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived” by Lee Carrol and Jan Tober. I won’t get into too many details, because they could get controversial based on the fact that the idea of the “Indigo Child” stems from new age philosophy. Aside from that, the description of the the Indigo Child really describes many of my students: headstrong, sensitive, highly creative, resistant to authority. Basically a student who has a tendency to disagree with you and only wants to play “certain” songs of their choosing, and boy do they give hell when you won’t bow down to them. Reading this book taught me that the most important thing to do as a teacher to these children is to have a sense of humor when teaching these strong willed, defensive little minds. 

4. TREAT YOURSELF TO A NEW CD

Hearing new music on a regular basis is so important to my well being as a music teacher. It keeps me inspired and exciting about being someone who gets to share music for a living! Whether you’re downloading from itunes, borrowing from the library, or buying the old fashioned way at a store, I think that listening to new music weekly, even daily, is crucial to remaining inspired.

I hope these ideas help. Please leave some comments and share with us how you stay fresh. I know we could all use the ideas.

About the Author

Bella Payne
While working on a degree in Sociology with plans to become a Social Worker, I fell into teaching piano lessons as a way to pay my bills. I had no idea I was stumbling into a totally fulfilling, creative and exciting career! Every day, I teach several students in their homes, in my home, and online how to play piano from scratch. Over the last 10 years, I have seen kids and adults go from timid b... [Read more]

3 Comments

  1. Chris Brown

    Just wondering – Did you start Zumba? If so, what do you think of it? I am going to visit my first class tonight. Your posting gave me the encouragement I needed to try it. It should definitely get me out of my musical rut!

  2. Michelle Payne

    No, but I noticed it’s offered at my Gym. What is Zumba? Maybe I could give it a try!

  3. murat

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