When it comes to delivering an amazing music education experience for your students, the most valuable assets you have at your disposal are your personality, energy, and passion for music. But no matter what kind of a music teacher you are, at some point you’ll need tools to do your job well that your own sheer will and gumption can’t provide. The following five music teacher must-haves will help you get the most out of teaching this year.
Music theory resources
If you teach music for a living, then it’s safe to assume you’re a music theory whiz. But even music theory savants have lapses not only of theory knowledge, but also in ways of communicating its complex ideas to students. Books, flash cards, and games that teach music theory are must-have items for music classrooms whether you’re teaching high school band or elementary school kids because it’s a foundational concept for music education. Music theory is a topic you’ll turn back to over and over again for as long as you teach music. And while older kids can grasp music theory concepts better than younger students, laying a strong and empowering theory foundation for kids as early as possible is hugely important for helping them succeed.
Guitar strings, reeds, drum heads, and rosin. These accessories are crucial for helping instruments produce sounds and music teachers do their jobs. Get caught without instrument-specific accessories during class, and your job becomes much harder or even impossible to do. In the same way a mechanic needs a set of tools to fix cars, music teachers need accessories to teach. And since students tend to show up to class without accessories, it’s a good idea to have some extra items on hand for them as well. You’ll end up having an infinitely easier time teaching this year if you come to class prepared with plenty of accessories.
Music and instrument stands might seem inconsequential when it comes to music education, but not having them makes teaching far harder than it has to be. You and your kids need to be able to read music and play at the same time, and laying down instruments on the floor is a disaster for not only your instruments, but also the level of respect students have for you and your class. Stands are the unsung heroes of music education, and they’re absolutely essential. Don’t teach this year without being prepared with stands for you and your students.
If you teach guitar, choir, or clarinet, you might be wondering why keyboards are recommended for all music teachers. Keyboards are massively helpful for every kind of music class because they’re ideal for teaching music theory and ear training. A guitar’s fretboard and the finger positions of a flute can’t represent scales, chords, and intervals in a clear and linear way like keyboards can. Keyboards also deliver the benefits of being portable and well-suited for accompanying your students while they perform their parts whether they are singing or playing instruments.
Along with stands, cases are important for keeping instruments protected and ensuring your students view your class with seriousness and respect. An instrument case will make your life easier from the moment you leave your home to go to class. Cases protect your instrument and allow you to transport it with ease to and from school. If you’re a serious music educator, you need cases for your instruments. And if your kids store their instruments at school, you’ll need cases for their instruments as well.
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