Finding an opportunity to teach

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SteelSampson Offline
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Location: Utah

Finding an opportunity to teach

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:34 pm



I did not major or minor in music in college. I moved to Utah recently and really have been itching to teach percussion again even if it's volunteer work. ( I would prefer to be paid of course). I cannot seem to get anyone to even give me two seconds of their time or consideration. I am starting to consider going back to school for a semester just to get a teaching opportunity. This has been extremely frustrating. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to get a chance to teach percussion again?

I was an "assistant" percussion instructor the year after I graduated HS (which was a long time ago). I put assistant in quotes because the only thing the Caption Head did was tune the drums. I wrote the cadence, created an entirely new exercise book and arranged some of the show music. We ended up winning a competition for an ensemble piece and getting higher scores than the drumline ever had at competition. I consider myself an excellent teacher and would think any self respecting Band program would jump at the chance to get quality help. Any insight would be fantastic.

Thanks.


FerreusOpus Offline
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Re: Finding an opportunity to teach

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:40 am



How much experience do you have, both on the field and as an instructor? I had difficulty getting teaching gigs until I marched with Crossmen. I've been building my teaching experience and resume since. Now I've found myself in the position of a program director for a high school indoor group.

After that, it really comes down to knowing people and having people know you. Just keep at it, maybe do some private lessons to get your name out there, and don't be afraid to do that volunteer work to get in. I know I've done my fair share of it.
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ZachHarston Offline
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Re: Finding an opportunity to teach

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:49 am



SteelSampson wrote:I did not major or minor in music in college. I moved to Utah recently and really have been itching to teach percussion again even if it's volunteer work. ( I would prefer to be paid of course). I cannot seem to get anyone to even give me two seconds of their time or consideration. I am starting to consider going back to school for a semester just to get a teaching opportunity. This has been extremely frustrating. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to get a chance to teach percussion again?

I was an "assistant" percussion instructor the year after I graduated HS (which was a long time ago). I put assistant in quotes because the only thing the Caption Head did was tune the drums. I wrote the cadence, created an entirely new exercise book and arranged some of the show music. We ended up winning a competition for an ensemble piece and getting higher scores than the drumline ever had at competition. I consider myself an excellent teacher and would think any self respecting Band program would jump at the chance to get quality help. Any insight would be fantastic.

Thanks.
Contact anyone and everyone you know in the business, and make it KNOWN that you are looking to teach again. Just get your name out there. If you have left a good track record in the past, people will gladly pass your name along... IF they know you're in the market.


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Finding an opportunity to teach

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:44 am



My recommendation is that you shouldn't be afraid to talk with anybody about your desire to teach. Connections can come in the weirdest ways. I landed my gig by having a conversation with a co-worker in a training class. Turns out she is the color guard instructor. Me: "So, do they need any help with the drumline" Her: *Eye Roll* "Boy, do they ever!" The rest is history.

Somebody you know might have a kid on the drumline, etc. etc. or be involved in some other aspect of the program and can help you with introductions.
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


joe356 Offline
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Re: Finding an opportunity to teach

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:55 am



Its all about the hustle man. Qualifications or no qualifications, you have to network like crazy. I know a lot of people with a ton of qualifications who can't find work because they're not willing to send the emails, and do the networking. Obviously, be respectful, but tell people what you can bring to the table, and (more importantly in a lot of areas) when you're available. It can be hard to find help of any kind, and while band directors will get the "I'm new to the area and want to work with your group" email often, they'll pay more attention if you have their rehearsal time free.

Also, be open minded. If you're new to the area, or new to teaching, you'll have to pay your dues somewhere. It might not be a well developed program. You might be working with some not so ideal circumstances (kids who can't read music, terrible equipment, a band director stuck in the 70s etc). Being able to handle those situations is what can get you the gig you actually want.


SteelSampson Offline
playin' eights
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Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Finding an opportunity to teach

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:15 pm



FerreusOpus wrote:How much experience do you have, both on the field and as an instructor? I had difficulty getting teaching gigs until I marched with Crossmen.
My experience is limited to: (I'm listing everything I can think of here)

-Marched cymbals, and played the rack freshman year in HS.
-I played vibraphone in an ensemble where we went to State S&E. I understand keyboard technique, but it's definitely not my forte.
-Center Stick (snare) at High School in my Jr. and Sr. Years.
-Awarded several 1st division medals for S&E pieces.
-HS band won SHSMBF my Jr. year.
-HS concert band was awarded 1st divisions my senior year
-Assistant perc. drumline the year after I graduated (details in my previous post)

-I did try out and qualify as top chair non-returning snare with Spartan Drum and Bugle Corp, but I was in a car accident that year and severely injured my back and was unable to march with them. (I still have issues with my back) The Spartans won Open Class that year and top drums. That's actually what made me step away from percussion. I was extremely disappointed and didn't even touch a pair of drumsticks for 3-4 years. (so I can say I have experience trying out and qualifying for an Open Class Champion Drum Corps)
joe356 wrote: Also, be open minded. If you're new to the area, or new to teaching, you'll have to pay your dues somewhere. It might not be a well developed program. You might be working with some not so ideal circumstances (kids who can't read music, terrible equipment, a band director stuck in the 70s etc). Being able to handle those situations is what can get you the gig you actually want.
I am certainly willing to teach a small and/or struggling program. In fact, the program where I taught we struggling in many ways. In NH marching band isn't really a big thing to begin with and most of the students had no interest in the competitive side of band they were just there for their friends. I had to learn to reach those students and it took a while, but once they realized I really cared about them and their success they came around.

Thanks a lot for the great insights everyone I'll keep at it.

P.S. Any thoughts of whether or not I should put my DCI "experience" in my emails to directors and contacts?


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