Music education in schools isn’t what it used to be. With seemingly endless cuts to funding for teacher programs, many parents are opting to get their kid’s music education outside of school through private lessons. Even if you teach music in a school, there is a good chance that you supplement your income by teaching private lessons outside of the school.
Teaching privately is interesting because there is no set standard for curriculum like there is in the schools. You can teach each student differently based on their individual talents and their overall goals. Every great teacher is looking for new resources to help them better their teaching style and their own skills as a musician. Here are five of the best resources for music teachers to help you.
Video chat apps like Skype have made it easier to communicate over long distances. Video chat has made it easier than ever for teachers to reach students. Your student-base is now the entire world instead of just your immediate area. It also gives students the ability as a teacher to seek out specific teachers they want to work with.
Outside of real time interaction, another benefit of online lessons is that you can pre-record lessons and put them online. Once online, they can be downloaded and watched over and over again by students, meaning you can be teaching multiple lessons at the same time. A great way to get started is to upload a couple of simple lessons to YouTube to help create interest. Tablets like Amazon’s Fire HD make these easily digestible for students and allow you to film from anywhere.
Traditionally, books have been the music teacher’s greatest aid. Their education value is the same when consumed in digital form and, if you’re teaching kids, you’re more likely to captivate a tech-savvy student’s attention by pointing them to an online version.
Almost every hard copy book is also available in Kindle format or through another device.
There is a mobile application for just about everything, including music education. Whether you use an Amazon Kindle, an iOS, or an Android device, there are hundreds of apps available to help you educate you students more effectively. The best part is that many of these application are available at no cost
Among the most popular is iReal book which contains an online catalogue of thousands of jazz standards. Amazon’s Echo series – which includes the Echo, Dot and Echo Show, also come with built in guitar tuners and metronomes.
There’s more on how to use the Echo as a musician or teacher here.
Speak to other teachers
There’s a lot to be said for reaching out to the community of music teachers near you or beyond to find out how they’re aiding their careers. Whether you’re considering teaching a new instrument or if you need advice, there are a number of great forums like the National Association for Music Education where you can turn to for tips.
The Music Teacher Chatboard on teacher.net also provides a safe place for teachers to trade advice or thoughts.
Whether it be a full on recording studio or just an HD camera set up in the corner, it is a good idea to have a way to record the lessons you are teaching.
You can give these recordings to your students and they can review them later. Doing this makes it easier for them to remember everything you went over in the lesson. On top of that, you can review the recordings to see how you can improve as a teacher. Just as athletes review game tapes, it can sometimes make the difference between a student progressing past a difficult obstacle or staying stuck behind it. If you don’t want to tape something on camera, recording it on a voice recorder might be a suitable and cheaper alternative. Click on the highlighted words for great options on both.