Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Little Something For The "Degree Holding Teachers Only" Music Schools

    If you own a music school (not college) and are only allowing people who have a piece of paper to teach there, as an experienced player and teacher, I feel sorry for you.

    There is a whole demographic of musicians who are very skilled and experienced teachers (some more-so than degree holders) at conveying solid knowledge to all ages and skills who are simply not the college type where they didn't want to be pulled away from their craft for Gen Ed classes that they didn't have any interest in and didn't want to pay for the loans required for something they're going to forget not long after the course is complete. These are the people who have ACTUAL experience using and teaching the craft which to me and owners of many places I've taught at balances things out nicely. To bar these people out is very unfortunate for your business and your students because you could be missing out on great people on your team. I've seen knowledgeable teachers who are great players but can't educate and keep students if their life depended on it.

    Do I know how to score an orchestra and remember all of the clefs that are used for instruments that I don't play? Do I know how to play two brass and two woodwind instruments? Do I know anything about anthropology or writing 15 page papers about the food pyramid? No and I'm proud of it.....because I have no use for those things, I'd forget these things anyway (As I say, "use it or lose it") and have no interest in any of it as it takes/took me away from the instrument that I am passionate about, dedicated to and want to build a career on the education of it. I have spent a ton of time on my specific instrument and can teach circles around the well rounded teachers that only know a little about everything.

    When I was twenty, I was already teaching, learning my instrument and getting better and better at both. I was getting experience as I went and getting comfortable with various ages and styles and there's something to be said for that too. I was becoming more and more confident and taking on students left and right and I'm talking about both one on one and even groups of inner-city kids.

    When I was teaching as adjunct faculty in high school, both of the regular teachers wished they could give me their class as well but since the system is garbage with bullshit regulations and union red tape, I couldn't provide that to them and the students. You could only get so many hours if you weren't a cert, but yet here the certs are having students change their mind on taking guitar class because they couldn't get MY class because I have a focused expertise on the instrument and how to teach someone how to express themselves with it. I'm not saying one way is better than the other and I'm not trashing hard earned degrees, but the type of person who found that being a music scholar isn't for them but is still experienced shouldn't be blown off.

Sit down with someone who's been in the trenches, talk to them and give them a shot.

You might be surprised.

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