String Job Opportunities

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    I just had a question regarding interviews and future job opportunities. First, I just want to give you a little synopsis of my experience. I am primarily focused in a band setting and play the flute. In the past, I played in orchestra from 4th-8th grade. I know it was a long time ago (currently senior music education major), but I have a lot of knowledge on basic string fundamentals and concepts.

    I want to get as much experience in a beginning/high school orchestra setting. When the time comes to interview for job opportunities, what are some vital things that I should know going into an interview for a string position? What can help prepare me for this interview that can help secure a job?

    Any suggestions and tips are greatly appreciated!



    Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Thom Priest, Ed.D from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. I serve on the Collegiate Advisory Council.

    It sounds like you want to prepare yourself to work in band and orchestra settings. This is a very good idea because I see more and more music teachers are being asked to teach music in a wide range of formats. It also sounds like you plan on getting a lot of pre-student teaching field experience in orchestral settings; this is also a terrific idea. I’m always encouraging our music education students to get early field-experience in music settings that are outside of their comfort zone. For this reason, you may also want to consider getting experience in general music, guitar and/or choral settings.

    Early field experience and your student-teaching experience will really help you in job interviews, but I would also recommend that you become very familiar with quality literature for the kinds of ensembles you want to work with. Also, write down your philosophy of teaching music. Can you articulate why you want to teach music? Who should have access to a music education? Should music education be compulsory for all students similar to mathematics and language arts? What are your ideas concerning music for special learners? Can you identify effective teaching strategies? Can you identify a diversity of teaching strategies? After you write down your philosophy it will most likely change throughout your career, but it will give you direction and help you articulate to others what is most important to you and why.

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