The 2016-17 school year is now or very soon will be underway. Our
teenage sons are continually reminding us of this. And not in an
With the new year there will be a new wave of
music educators, out of college and leaping into their first teaching
job. And to any new teachers reading this we say,
congratulations...welcome to one of the greatest and most important
professions in the world. We've been where you are. Your adventure is
Part of our mission here at Festivals of Music
is to do all we can to provide helpful resources to teachers--whether
new or experienced--in order to make the job somewhat easier and
contribute to reversing the trend of shortened teaching lifespans among
the music teacher population. Speaking for myself, burnout on the
profession is something I know all too well.
Don't get me
wrong--I'm very happy with my lives as a performance travel planner and
now festival organizer. I've still considered myself an educator in
these roles. But there are things I regret not having achieved or
experienced during the time I was in the rehearsal room and concert
Well, so far anyway...who knows what the future could bring. I could still be asked to conduct Lincolnshire Posy on
a future Eastman Wind Ensemble concert. Admittedly, the only qualifier I
have to that possibility is the fact that I'm still taking in oxygen.
But there's always hope.
Because being a resource for music
educators is at the core of our philosophy, we have begun partnering
with organizations such as the National Band Association
to create online resources for music educators to assist not only
musically, but with the day to day administrative tasks and challenges.
These are the topics for which there is not as much collegiate training
and is by nature "on the job" training. And, sadly, often the factors
that lead to short tenures in the music education world.
tapping into a network of experienced teachers to bring together best
practices on a number of topics, and you'll see more of that on our blog
in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned.
To jump start
that process--we wanted to present some of the blog posts from the past
year that might be most helpful to young teachers that are just
beginning on their
journey. Or, for that matter, experienced teachers just needing to see
things through new eyes.
Here they are, at the risk of producing the equivalent of our blog's first "clip show":
- Upon reflection of 25 years in great professions that can still be stressful, here's some thoughts on self care so that you can make it for the long haul.
- One of the best things you can do for yourself is recharge at music conferences. For band and orchestra directors, here's some of the great things experienced last year at the Midwest Clinic. Consider attending if you haven't--we would love to see you there.
- If one of the "to-dos" on your list this year is to take your ensemble on tour, we hope you'll give some thought to why and how this can best benefit your group.
- If you are going to plan to tour with your group, here's reasons to consider a professional travel provider.
- If on that tour you are considering a festival performance (and we hope you are!), here are ten reasons it can be the best option for your group. And, here are suggestions on how to get the most out of the experience.
There's more to come, and we look forward to sharing the journey with you. Bon voyage!