Effective Music Teacher – You can go through an entire career and feel like you have not perfected your craft as a music educator. Finding and using tools to help you progress through your profession as a competent role model. Years of research, experience, and experimentation have boiled down findings on what makes a teacher effective. Teacher effectiveness is achieved by engaging ineffective practices.
Teachers employing effective practices possess three core common characteristics. These are 1) strong classroom management skills, 2) lesson mastery, and 3) utilize positive expectations.
Ensemble/ Classroom Management
Music ensembles thrive on structure and being able to work as a team. Having strong classroom management skills speak to the practices and procedures that you use to establish AND maintain an environment in which learning and instruction can take place. Do your students know what is expected of them? Is there a cultural medium that student and teacher can communicate through? Do the students feel safe, have the appropriate resources and possess an ownership in the group? These and many more specific processes influence successful classroom management so that learning can occur.
Lesson mastery refers to how well a music educator provides instruction. This does not just mean whether or not a teacher can lecture to a group of pupils but rather can instruction be delivered so that student musicians will comprehend and master a concept to a level of proficiency. Many times this level of proficiency can be put into question, so it must be identified based on a lesson objective and assessment. Students must know that we push for mastery but mistakes will be made and are necessary in order to learn.
Finally, what a music teacher believes is what or will not happen. The impact and influence a teacher has on his or her music classroom will affect the success of the students. Teachers continually encourage students and are observed working hard going out of his or her way to help students. As a result, students will gain their trust, respect, and loyalty. As a result, students will tend to work harder for the “cause” and take more personal ownership into the music program.
There are many shades of gray when it comes to what makes an effective music teacher. Teachers come from many walks of life and the circumstances dealt us in our teaching scenarios vary drastically. Work toward improving these simple core characteristics of what makes effective music teachers and your passion for working with student musicians will never seem like a day of work again.