I remember Dr. Tim teaching that “you can’t lead until you can follow.”
As a 14-year-old horn player, this was a challenging concept to me. I mean…I was already a “pretty strong leader” so why on earth would I need to know how to follow someone else? [Read that back, dripping with teenage ego] Did there even NEED to BE someone else?
[Please understand that I currently have a 13-year-old girl who plays the tuba living in my house, so I see quite clearly the many egotistical flaws that I once had…*sigh*]
Alas, it took years for me to understand that the best leaders are those that can and do accept strong leadership, and honor the talents and abilities of all associates.
Over the past few months as I’ve been moving forward with my dream to help music educators secure funding, gain influence, and have more time, it has been an honor to discover inspired people offering abundant resources that support this very mission, and are on the forefront of the digital era for music education!
I know as busy teachers, you don’t always have time to do the research and find the best sites to follow- I mean, there’s A LOT out there. You probably already have some favorites, too.
Thus, I humbly hope that you will accept my list of 6 online music education gurus who are on the forefront of supporting music educators like yourself, either through offering awesome ideas for in the classroom, or supporting your work outside the classroom- or even just offering you insights and occasional hilarity.
Here they are….drum roll, please!
Whether you teach band or, band/orchestra, or band/orchestra/generalmusic/choir/elementary, or any combination thereof, Band Directors Talk Shop is a great source for quick ideas you can implement today, or strategies for your program over the next 5 years.
Click on over there and subscribe to the newsletter right now and all the goodies will come right to your inbox. Then click over to your calendar and set aside 10 minutes to read through it.
If you had told the me that was fresh out of college about to start my first middle-school instrumental teaching job that I should probably know SOMETHING about ‘marketing’, you would have been pleased to see my ‘deer in the CJ5 super-bright headlights’ look. If you’re in the same boat, let me help you out.
Advocacy = Marketing
Recruitment = Marketing
Fundraising = Marketing
I’m not kidding. When I was taking my eCommerce/Marketing class for my MBA, I was actually surprised people didn’t intuitively know this stuff…because it’s what I had been doing to triple the size of my music program over my first 3 years of teaching.
Well, Kathleen definitely has the right idea, and her podcast is one you definitely need to follow. She has all the right ideas about how to properly Market/Advocate/Recruit/Fundraise for your music program, and a podcast you can listen to on your commute/workout/prep as well. This will help transform the way you look at all those concert and social media opportunities.
I remember on one of my earliest teacher evaluation forms they asked about how I use technology in the classroom. I kind of felt overwhelmed by this because at the time all I ever used was a stereo [I guess I was pretty old school back in 2004. I mostly blame my dad.].
Since then, I’ve discovered a plethora of ways to incorporate tech into my teaching- from YouTube to Audacity to Sibelius…but I am by far NOT the guru when it comes to that. Katie Wardrobe is.
Katie is a total wealth of information when it comes to using technology in your music classroom. She has complimentary lesson plans, and her blog [and/or Pinterest board] is definitely a great place to hang out. And if you want all the in-depth knowledge, she has an online community where you can get even MORE support and knowledge.
Want to add more tech into your repertoire? This is your transformative site.
Need a cute classroom bulletin board idea? How about a theme for the year? Or the best way to visually teach rhythm to 4th graders? Orff? Kodaly? You can find SO FREAKING MUCH if you can find Aileen Miracle.
Please understand, I’m currently teaching elementary [my collegiate emphasis was in secondary instrumental…so…yeah.], and her resources have been a metaphorical god-send.
Even if you ARE a secondary teacher, she has classroom ideas for more advanced students- all very visual and visually appealing.
These last two aren’t people so much as…entities. But still…good, good stuff!
Boy are these guys getting content marketing right! So many good things in this website and written by pros specifically to teach you awesome skills! I mean…tips for teaching bassoon! The right way to do emergency repairs! Student retention! Back to school tips for every instrument in your ensemble…AND CHOIR!
I’m just geeking out here.
But seriously, you know these guys are there to sell a product, but they obviously understand the importance of building a relationship, and doing that by offering awesome, mouth-watering content. Just be aware that you’ll want at least an hour to read all the stuff you’re gonna want to read.
Ever since I discovered TED talks, I’ve been kinda been addicted. When I discovered TED Ed?!?!? Love at first sight.
Their videos are all really clever, well-written, and fun to watch for both kids AND grown-up-types. The music ones are particularly good. I’ve even showed the “Starry Night” video to my elem kids when we were talking about impressionism. If you haven’t used videos like this to enhance your teaching…now’s the time and this is the content.
Their lesson plans are clever and concise- they’ve made me look at my teaching style, and try to incorporate some of the same savoir faire! Can they do this for you, too?
So that rounds us out! But don’t take MY word for it.
What are YOUR favorite sites/profiles/blogs/feeds/boards to follow? I can’t wait to hear. Comment below!
And, obviously, if you’re looking for even more tips to help you grow and managem your school music program, you should take a moment an subscribe to me, too.