How To Teach Music and Why You Should

The idea of teaching music may seem like an easy task for most people with a musical background. Having expert skills with an instrument enables you to teach others and you don’t need to have a degree unless you are working in an accredited school. If you have ever thought about teaching music in some way, whether at a school, at a studio, or out of your home, you should know that for a student, music education is not something to be taken lightly. There are numerous advantages that come from teaching music so it is important to instill those principles early on. Music is a passion and an art, but also promotes creativity, hard work, and dedication.

Simple Outline for Teaching Music

Depending on how you plan to teach, you can utilize the following four-step outline to help you get started:

  1. Decide what to teach first – Create a list of your expertise when it comes to music and how it will relate to your teaching, and what aspects of music you’re most interested in teaching. Do you want to provide voice lessons or guitar lessons? Do you want to teach Music History? Different style of music, or theory? Take into account your own musical knowledge and abilities and how you can apply them to your teachings.
  2. Once you have narrowed down your focus for teaching, you then need to do some research. Identify helpful resources, books, and documents that will help you to teach effectively. Have the ability to provide things like tools or books to your students if necessary. Create outlines, curriculums, and plans so that you can stay organized and on top of all of the areas you plan to cover.
  3. Remember that teaching is both give and take. Your students can give you insight and provide their own musical knowledge, which can aid in determining your focus and lesson plans. You may sometimes learn just as much from a student as they learn from you, so be open to that. Keep in mind that every student is made differently, though fundamentals of learning should stay the same, you should adhere to each person’s way of learning and ensure that they are being challenged and engaged.
  4. Be creative! Music is a much more creative field than most others, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and create new and engaging ways to excite your students. If you teach voice, find some new vocal warm-ups. If you teach piano, look for some challenging rock songs that are piano-based you can help your student tackle. There are limitless possibilities. You could also go online – Drooble is a great place for that, and ask other musicians about their teaching and learning experience so you can gather more ideas.

So now that you have a basic outline for how to teach music, why should you do it? Apart from giving expression to your passion or expertise in the field, there are also numerous benefits to music students as well. Here are four reasons why you should start teaching:


Music Helps with Cognitive and Emotional Development

Students can improve upon things like hand-eye coordination when learning instruments, and most importantly, they expand upon their brain development. Things like increased memory retention from having to practice, and self-esteem boosts, especially if you read music or are learning music theory, and the ability to be creative allows for the expression of emotions, which is a great outlet for students. Since music has the power to evoke feelings you can assess your students and decide whether to excite or relax them, helping them navigate their own feelings. You’re not a therapist but you can utilize your position to assist your students in making sure they enjoy their lessons with you. That’s the point of teaching right? To engage and have a love for music.

Tracy Reina, an owner and administrator of the music school Music to your Home, says how “Music opens up the mind, and allows for a greater sense of accomplishment, allowing for increased productivity and emotional development.” When students learn to play new instruments or learn how to decipher music, it can be very challenging, but when a piece of music is mastered there is a great sense of accomplishment that helps students feel proud, and creates a desire for more.

Music Instills Responsibility and Discipline

Another great area you can work on with your students when they are learning music are having both responsibility and self-discipline. When you teach music you are encouraging students to build confidence through their ability to read music or play an instrument. Students will need to practice and complete assignments in order to advance and continue forward in their learning, and especially if not being required to do their homework in a school setting, the student is then given the responsibility on their own to be sure to complete their given task(s).

Teaching Music is Never Boring

You never have to be bored as a music teacher. Since music is always evolving and there are new songs being produced every single day, you will always have a new challenge. There are multiple genres and music styles to study as well as learn. Most teachers feel that, when they teach a certain subject, it becomes redundant, where they are putting forth the same curriculums and lesson plans into their students year after year. With music, you have the great advantage of never falling into that trap. You get to work in a creative setting, and you can make fun music plans, pick a new song to sing, play or learn every single DAY if you want to.


Teaching Music is Rewarding

Teaching in any capacity can be a rewarding experience. But teaching music from your heart can have a particularly rewarding feeling when it comes back to you. When students can look back and reflect on how their experience with you has benefited them, acknowledging that you helped to create integrity and a good work ethic within that they continue to practice in other aspects of their life and career, it allows you as the teacher to feel a great sense of achievement. You have influenced that student in such a way that it has impacted them throughout their life, giving them skills and abilities to go out into the world and succeed.

And if you are still in doubt whether to start teaching or not, remember the words of president Bill Clinton who said “Music is about communication, creativity and cooperation. By studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives and experience the world from a new perspective.” There is no bigger gift you can make to another human being than teaching him the art of music.

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