Advice for a beginning music teacher to restore your confidence
Have you been asked to teach an early childhood program? Are you freaking out? Take a deep breath and read on – this is quick and painless:
#1. Chill out
Most importantly, chill out, relax, trust yourself and trust those kids. After all, you love music, they love music and so you have a lot in common. Remember that you have something wonderful to offer because no-one can run music sessions more convincingly than a music teacher – it’s your job. If you are relaxed, and get down on the floor to their level, you will soon have them eating out of your hand. Hey, you were once a musical little kid yourself!
#2. Mentor me please
Get a mentor. Organise an ongoing professional conversation with an expert, even if it’s by email or through a forum. This person need not be a music educator but s/he will know about how to engage and manage very young children. If possible, watch her/him in action, ideally with the very children you are going to teach. If not possible, then watch some other experts working well with this age. Tell her/him your fears and share your delights. Teaching is a collaborative experience after all.
#3. Read all about it
Research, research and more research. Read books, journal articles and other academic papers. Investigate website, especially blogs written by practising professionals. I’d advise you to be a little wary of some social media posts, videos and pin-boards as persistent errors can be passed around just as easily as can good advice. Go to your trusted music teachers’ associations where you can find links to sub-branches devoted to early childhood music. Here’s a link to the Early Childhood Music Education Commission for the International Society for Music Eduction – ISME. For a very practical guide, click here to find out more about my Sing and Play 1 Educator’s Book.
That’s it – my little bit of advice for a beginning music teacher! Good luck. From my experience as a mentor to music teachers, I think you’ll find that you love it. You’ll be looking forward to working with your youngest students and seeing it as the best part of your working week. To save hours and hours of preparation time, look for our recommended preschool music lessons at Musical Child.