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I’ve been on both ends of an interview. Keep in mind that there will be people with different backgrounds and agendas- music teachers who want to understand your music background, administrators who might not know or care anything about music but want to know that you can manage a classroom, parents who want their kids to enjoy music, possibly even a student on the panel. If there is, you need to treat them with the same respect and attention as the adults, and sometimes kids have the best questions. Here are some of the most common questions I’ve heard (or asked.):
Tell us about yourself. (This is your chance to tell them about your strengths.)
What makes you the best person for this job?
What are your areas of weakness, and how do you plan to address them?
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Please give us an example of music you would program for (whatever ensembles) Or for general music- are there specific methods that you use, Kodaly, Orff etc?
How would you deal with a disruptive student?
What are the most important things for kids to learn in your program?
How will you accommodate students with special needs?
The music people might ask you technical questions (How would you deal with a trumpet player who can’t play above 4th space C, etc.) The non-music people might want specifics about classroom management, how you plan to grade, etc.
Hi, Emmi. I’ve experienced this myself – google link for reparts. https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=studio%2049%20orff%20instrument%20replacement%20parts&oq=studio%2049%20orff%20instrument%20parts&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0.13678j0j1
call West music, or Studio 49 and see what they say about dissolving the glue, or call the folks at West Music – they can help as well.
Keep us in the loop!
Amy, what a wonderful response! Yes to all above, and, remember the best pedagogical approaches to actively engage the learner.
Hello Calvin-Paul! Yes! how wonderful it will be to share the importance of music education to the school board. From experience, students and parents have the best impact. Have several students speak, along with the parents and then you can follow up with a plan. Here is a wonderful resource with many docuements and data you can use to do this. https://www.nammfoundation.org/get-involved
I hope this helps!
I have found that having the real instrument in my hands and playing scales is the best way to help learn new fingerings in a more musical context. Muscle memory is everything.
How should I prepare for the interview process with a school principal and an interview panel? Are there any specific questions I should be prepared to answer going into the process?
Going into my clinical experience, I feel very weak in the area of teaching elementary music as a whole. It’s not that the age group intimidates me, I just have little to no experience with designing lessons for these grade levels. I’m a percussionist by trade, so working with rhythms is no problem, but when it comes to signing and music games, I am at a loss. Does anyone have any helpful insight?
teachingwithorff.com has some good instrument repair videos.
I am not overly familiar with the Classical Schools movement. Upon a general reading, they do not seem to specifically address music education at all. That can be frustrating but at the same time, it can be freeing as well. If the program itself has not taken it upon themselves to specify what a music program should look like in their school, you have the freedom to create the best music learning environment for your students!
I think that is what you should focus on. Build the best, most developmentally appropriate music learning environment for your students that honors the premise your school is founded on. Back up your educational choices with sound reasoning and solid research. Show the link to the program you school is based on but never compromise your teaching in a developmentally and musical way to fit any program.
Great teaching is great teaching. And great music teaching can thrive in many different types of schools. I hope someone with specific experiences in the Classical School model chimes in as well with some more specific tips. But the best I can give you is to establish a quality music program first and foremost. The students gaining musical knowledge and skills should fit in nicely to any learning environment.
Best of luck to you!!!
Dr. Amy K. Anderson
SW Representative, NAfME Council for General Music Education
Val has given you some wonderful suggestions! Thanks, Val!!
I will just chime in with this: my most successful “programs” with very young children were not programs at all but rather informational sessions where I presented what we do in music class along with explanations as to why the activities are important for musical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. These “informances” we well received by parents and resulted in an increase in support from parents, teachers, and administrators as they realized that we do so much more than singing songs and playing games in music class and that we are professional educators who give thought and consideration to student needs as we plan lessons.
Good luck with your holiday activities!!!
Dr. Amy K. Anderson
SW Representative, NAfME Council for General Music Education
I’ve requested to join that group, and even filled out the required external application, but I have yet to be approved. Is there something I’m missing? Does an admin have to approve me? Or can members approve me?
I can relate to this! I teach an “all school” winter sing along assembly each year, and it’s always a challenge to come up with songs that the littles can tackle, but not be too boring for the olders. As such, it sounds like you are doing a strict K program, so here are my thoughts…
1. MOVE, MOVE, MOVE! Even on risers, you can incorporate some very basic choreography into songs that help kids memorize lyrics. This is a MUST for almost ALL of my kinder curriculum.
2. Separate the song by class: ie: class A sings verse 1, all sing chorus, class B sings verse 2, all sing chorus, etc….
3. Bring special guests… special adults (ie: their teacher, or especially community/district stakeholders!) can come dressed up in something you provide (a fun hat or something?) and sing a verse or song with kids.
4. Incorporate lyric-writing (composition)…. change the words of a harder song, use the same tune, and make it tie-in with regular-ed topics or your theme.
5. Use songs that have repeating parts: ie: “Feliz Navidad”, “Jingle Bells”, “Must Be Santa”, etc. Don’t forget to move!
6. Check out resources from Music K-8 magazine (Plank Road Publishing), as they write great inclusionary winter-y songs in every winter issue. I think I have like, 6 years worth of their stuff, and it’s worth every penny for the subscription… however you can just go online and buy individual stuff for cheap!
7. Throw in songs that are not even wintery- but are just plain fun to sing. Your students and your audience won’t care that you snuck those in! 🙂 In my school, the rule is, every concert has to have at least ONE song that makes their parents cry…. the sappy-spotlight!!
8. Assign actual kinders (with teacher help in picking who..) speaking parts. Short lines, that kinda rhyme, and are easy to memorize. Do AS LITTLE talking yourself, as you possibly can. Teach kids ahead of time how to use a mic.
9. Shakey-Bangy Things!! in modest amounts: tambourines, jingles, egg shakers, oh my!
10. Print lyrics or PDF them, and give to all adults that those kinders come in contact with… their reading teacher, English Language teacher, etc… will thank you!
11. Make a CD of all those songs (with someone singing it!) and have teachers play in the background during “free choice” time during regular class. Give one to PE guy, and have him play in the background of PE activities. Play it in the cafeteria during lunch!
12. Send home a note in the weekly school newsletter about words to songs, or where to find the YouTube links so kids can practice at home.
13. Make your own classroom website, and include all the practice materials.
Well… sheesh, that’s 13 ideas. I’m sure people have many more! Good luck, and if you want me to give you all “my stuff”, just email me! That goes for anyone else reading this, too! 🙂
Val Ellett, NW Representative, NAfME Council for General Music Education
The Band Directors Facebook page is exteremely active, so that’s probably where everyone went.
we use classical guitars so I take a period on proper sitting position and how to hold the guitar and what to do with their arms and hands. I get them working on simple warm-up exercises from Scott Tennant’s “Pumping Nylon” book. It gets my students working on finger independence, facility and coordination. There are some other finger warm-ups I created that I add and eventually rotate through each week. I take tempos very slow to focus on tone and sound production. Doing these exercises everyday gets them prepared for playing 1st position chords and progressions.
I have a high school guitar program and my “go to” method guitar book is the First Year Guitar Hands On Training (H.O.T.) book as it contains many units of study (14 basic chords w/ progressions, E & A barre chords w/ progressions, scales, note reading in 1st and 5th position, blues, power chords, arpeggios using PIMA and more. Included are written tests, worksheets and proficiency rubrics. I supplement this with the WebRhythms exercises from Vic Firth, simple ensembles from the Doberman Editions and beginning solos from the Bridges Series. All of these combined cover a lot and lays a solid foundation for my students.