As students (especially in Music Education), we tend to look forward to summer vacation starting in about September, and rightfully so-the summer break is a great opportunity to relax and destress from what was most likely another busy, hectic, and stressful year of classes. However, summer can also be a great time to stay active in the field in a low-stress way! Here are five ways to stay active in Music and Music Education over the summer without putting your blood pressure at risk (you can also find 4 More Ways to Stay Active Over the Summer, a follow-up to this post):
1. Attend Conferences or Festivals
There are plenty of conferences that take place over the summer in the field of Education (or Music Ed, specifically). Take advantage of these opportunities to visit another city, gather information that will be helpful for your career, and network all at once! If you want to focus more on your playing, there are hundreds of performance festivals and camps all over the world worth attending that will help you improve your performance skills significantly. Whatever you do, though, if you are traveling, make sure to set aside time to take in the city (or country!) you are visiting!
2. Teach Private Lessons
Teaching private lessons can be a great opportunity for many reasons. First, this is a fantastic chance to hone your one-on-one teaching skills. Second, it is a good way to keep your instrument from accumulating dust as so many instruments tend to do over the summer. Third, it is a source of income (a reason that should never be scoffed at!). Finally, teaching privately is not quite as much a time commitment as working a normal 9-5 job, and will still leave you with plenty of time to relax.
You don’t have to be at a conference to build a network of professionals who know you and can answer any questions you may have! Online social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have exploded over the past few months and years, and there are tons of teachers and administrators that you can network with using these services without even having to change out of your pajamas! For a great start, check out the Twitter4Teachers Wiki, which contains a listing of thousands of teachers and administrators in all different subject areas (including music!).
4. Go to Concerts
Too many times we become so busy with out own schedules during the school year that we don’t get the opportunity to listen to many concerts around the community. Take the summer as an opportunity to do that–many local performing ensembles (community bands, etc.) have summer seasons that you can subscribe to, and if you are fortunate enough to live in a major city, consider going to see the Symphony (or Philharmonic) Orchestra downtown; many of these orchestras have student discounts that make attending their concerts more affordable!
Sometimes the best way to be active is to not be active. Taking time off and focusing on your hobbies, spending time with friends, and enjoying the summer (or even just sleeping!) can be extremely revitalizing and leave you recharged for the year to come. Enjoy summer; that’s what it’s for!
Do you have a favorite way to stay active in the field during the summer months? What do you do? Leave your suggestions in the comments, and lets see if we can’t add to this list!
[Front Page Image Credit - Liz Menne]
- 4 MORE Ways to Stay Active Over the Summer
- Year in Review: 2009-2010
- MusicForAll Summer Symposium
- #MusEdChat Recap – Summer Preparation (6-28-10)
- MusicForAll Summer Symposium