Maybe you are getting ready to graduate or have recently graduated, have a degree in music education and are ready to begin teaching, but now the challenge of finding a full-time music teaching position begins. If you find yourself in this position you are probably starting to realize that this can be quite a daunting and overwhelming task. You are overwhelmed with where to begin, how to find job postings, applications, portfolios, resumes, and eventually interviews. As we all know interviewing is a challenge itself, but actually finding and applying for jobs can be a long and tiring journey. In this post I will give some resources for finding job postings, tips on filling out applications, and some general tips on the daunting task of job searching.
As many of you probably know, what was formerly known as MENC has changed its name to National Association for Music Education (NAfME). NAfME began as the Music Supervisors National Conference in 1907. The organization underwent a long line of name changes, first to Music Educators National Conference, and changing again to reflect the nature of the organization – MENC: The National Association for Music Education. In an attempt to clear up any remaining confusion about the name and purpose of the group, the national association completed their name transformation to reflect what we have today, National Association for Music Education.
I had the opportunity to speak with NAfME representative Elizabeth Lasko about this transition and other exciting development in the national organization. Check out the interview below!
What Is NAfME?
NAfME Press Release: Building on the Past to Shape the Future of Music Education
Follow @NAfME on Twitter!
MENC Changes Name to NAfME
Special Thanks to Elizabeth Lasko for taking the time to do this interview with us!
While at the 2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic;, I had the opportunity to spend a good amount of time at the Alfred booth, learning about their new “Sound Innovations” method book. While I’ll be writing in more detail on Sound Innovations in the coming days, here is a ten-minute interview I did with Peter regarding the method book, his involvement in its development, and what advantages it brings over other methods. Check out what Peter had to say about Sound Innovations (there is a lot of background noise, so I have included a transcript below the video): [Read more...]
While at the 2010 Midwest Clinic, I had a chance to sit down with Peter Boonshaft, author of the well known Teaching Music With… series of books (which I love!) and Alfred representative. During our chat, I asked him what advice he would give to pre-service music teachers. Here’s what he said: [Read more...]
I had the opportunity to do an email interview with Dr. Nicholas DeCarbo, Associate Dean of Administration and Professor of Music Education at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. Dr. DeCarbo has been teaching for many years, both at the High School and the Collegiate level, and has one of the greatest musical minds of anybody I have ever met. Here are his thoughts:
What was your earliest musical memory?
I remember that we had a baby grand piano in our home, right as you came into the front door – sort of a parlor, and I would spend a lot of my “free” time sitting with my feet dangling over the piano bench playing on the white and black keys. These recollections are from early childhood, certainly before I started Kindergarten.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue a future in Music Education?
I realized I wanted to pursue music education and be an instrumental music teacher when I was a sophomore in high school. Like many secondary students who venture into the music profession, my high school choir and band and orchestra directors also impressed me. They “convinced” me by their actions that I wanted to be like them.
However, through my undergraduate education, I discovered that perhaps it would be good to pursue a career as a professional conductor. Because all undergraduate music majors were music education majors, it seemed that I was on the correct path to either teach or conduct professionally.
As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to conduct the combined choral and instrumental forces of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Sigma Alpha Iota fraternities. Since the memberships of these organizations were large, we could mount serious large-scale works. I had the opportunity to organize and conduct on concerts works by Purcell, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Barber, Copland, and Ives. These opportunities fed my love for teaching and conducting.
What was a musical memory that stands out to you the most from your years in secondary school?
Rather than a single musical memory, I have wonderful memories of a Sousa Band that I conducted while I was in high school.
As a junior in high school I started a “Sousa Band,” that met on Saturdays from 9 – 11 am, January through May, on the auditorium stage. All the first and second chair wind and percussion players from the high school symphonic band and orchestra played in the Sousa Band. We played Sousa marches!
The high school’s instrumental music library had a considerable number of John Philip Sousa marches that were published by John Church, the original publisher of Sousa’s music. I would sit for hours and study the scores and parts.
Can you believe it – two hours of playing Sousa marches every Saturday morning? This was the start of my interest in teaching and conducting.
What advice would you give a prospective Music Education major, as they prepare to decide what to do and where to study?
I tell students two things: first, gather as much information as you can about what you are studying, whether it be a future direction of study or a place in which to study, and then, follow your heart. Your heart will never steer you in the wrong direction!
What advice would you give a current Music Education major with regards to ways to get the most out of your undergraduate education?
Regardless of the music major, the most important part of studying music is listening to the great repertoire. That means students must go to recitals – lots of them, play in ensembles, and listen to recordings. All of this is done best after studying the scores of the music for which you are listening. I know of no other way to get a solid musical education. Listening to great music is everything.
What levels did you teach, and where? What was one lasting memory from your teaching years?
I taught elementary, junior high, and senior high instrumental music at West Middlesex Independent School District in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. First five years, I taught all levels, band and orchestra. In my sixth year we were fortunate to hire a woodwind specialist that took over the elementary band and a string specialist that taught strings and orchestra on all three levels. This allowed me to concentrate on teaching the middle school and senior high school bands and high school orchestra.
It is difficult to point out one lasting memory because I have so many wonderful memories of teaching at West Middlesex. However, I believe a lasting memory occurred when the West Middlesex Symphonic Band played at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh with Frederick Fennell and Col. Arnald Gabriel as guest conductors. Fennell conducted Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posey; Gabriel conducted Verdi’s La Forza del Destino Overture.
I also conducted the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra for 10 years. This was a first-rate musical organization. It was at this time that I studied conducting seriously with Franz Bibo, associate conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. He stood right beside me during rehearsals. The pressure was always on to make the best musical decisions using succinct language. Franz was one of my best teachers – an inspiration. This 10-year stint led to my involvement as an assistant conductor of the Youngstown (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra and conductor of its Opera Chorus.
What advice would you give any band director in today’s world?
My advice was given in the previous question/answer. One cannot teach music to others without knowing in your musical ear the sound that must be produced. To teach a beginning flute player, the teacher must know a good flute sound. One learns this by listening. It follows for all the instruments. One learns to know a good band sound by listening to good band. It follows for choir and orchestra, strings, a woodwind quintet, a brass quartet, et cetera. Considerable listening is the key to becoming a good music teacher.
How do you feel you have changed as a musician and educator as your career has progressed?
As I have matured, I have become more tolerant of young musicians who want to become teachers. When I was a young music teacher, I thought my job was to teach my students everything I knew about music. I now believe I want to excite in the young musician a boundless sense of curiosity about music, so that the growing musician will come to apprehend music with an excitement tempered by awe and wonder- curiosity that will never end.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions!
You are Welcome!