Whether you’re an under-funded all-in-one music teacher who manages band/orchestra/choir and general music in a small town, or a band-only teacher at a well-funded high school in L.A. you can benefit from a little light reading about management.

Managers are decision makers- whether it’s a choice between making a kid sit out of your ensemble, or to the principal’s office, or deciding which fundraiser you’ll do so you can afford some new music, or even which logo will look best on your choir t-shirts.

That’s why I’m offering you my pick of 5 books that can help you be a better manager no matter what the situation!

#1- Platform by Michael Hyatt

Forget ‘advocacy’. What you really want is ‘influence’, and Michael Hyatt’s book will definitely help you establish what you have to say and how to say it so that people listen in this digital world. If you want to get more people to give your school money for instruments, or music, or whatever… you need to build a platform. If you want more kids to join your elective program…. You need a platform. If you want your principal to value what you do in your school… you need a platform. Influence is the new advocacy.

#2- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is a classic that should be included in any leadership regimen. This is a book you should purchase and keep handy, filled with how to talk to people so they will listen. It’s like “Platform”, but offline.

#3-Mindset by Carol Dweck

“Growth Mindset” is a huge buzz word in education right now…for good reason! Most of us have been educated in a system that forced us to identify ourselves as a fixed-being. We either have musical talent or we don’t. We’re good at math, or we’re not. But the truth is just the opposite: any one of us can increase our talent, be good at anything we work hard at, and even increase our I.Q.! This book is the essential guide to how to have a growth mindset yourself, and how to teach it every day in your classroom.

#4- 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler

If you’re like me you’ll start by reading this cover-to-cover, then keep it handy to reference any time you need a little motivation. Steve Chandler is another HUGE idol of mine and his stories and references in this book will keep you busy as you’ll want to read everything he has read. Steve gives specific examples and exercises that you can do to be motivated every day.

#5- Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

This book changed my life. If you’re concerned about how to balance life, teaching, family, wellness… this step-by-step guide will help you identify your priorities and give you some methods for how to make sure your priorities are where you put your time.


So there it is: 5 books that are going to help you be a better manager, stronger influencer, and over-all stronger teacher than ever before.

Have a book you love? Share it in the comments below!

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