7 Reasons Music Teachers Are the Heroes of Our Schools


7 Reasons Music Teachers Are the Heroes of Our Schools

Yes, every teacher is a hero, there’s no questioning that. But there are some of us unsung heroes that are even more under-appreciated than the under-appreciated. I’m speaking of course of Music Teachers. They deal with issues that not even other teachers can relate to. If you think you have it tough, try dealing with these issues on a daily basis…

1. If you think core subject teachers don’t get much support, imagine what music teachers go through…

Thanks to standardized testing and a bunch of other reasons, schools tend to be centered around “core subjects” and music usually falls outside of that category. Some math teachers have aides and support. Some language Arts teachers have co-teachers and mountains of curriculum. Music teachers? They get an empty room, a thumbs up and “good luck” from admin.

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2. They listen to endless hours of recorder playing…

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At some point in your life as a student, you probably played (or at least attempted to play) the recorder. If you’re a parent you’ve probably cringed as your adorable child squeaked and warbled their way through hours of recorder playing. Well, imagine that sound, multiplied by an entire classroom of children, most of whom are not who you would call “maestros”. It’s a sound that can only be described as “musical insanity”.

3. They practice holiday songs… in September…

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Speaking of insanity… everybody loves a rousing round of “Jingle Bells”, but it takes a very special person to launch into that song before we’ve even started drinking pumpkin spice lattes. Music teachers know that the key to rocking all of those holiday performances is lots of practice. That means weeks and weeks of all your favorite holiday earworms. Fun!

4. They organize concerts and recitals all year round…

Putting together any after-school event is like mobilizing a small army for battle, and music teachers bear the brunt of this particular burden. You pick the occasion and odds are a music teacher will schedule some type of performance for it. If you don’t think there are at least 30 minutes of music related to Earth Day… think again!

Not only do Music teachers have to schedule and plan these concerts, but they also have to pray that students actually show up. It’s really hard to belt out a four-part harmony when your entire alto section couldn’t get a ride back to school that night.

5. They remain positive and upbeat, even to the tone-deaf…

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As teachers, we always see the good in all of our students and know there is potential in each and every one of them. Yes, little Johnny may turn in an essay that makes absolutely no sense, but at least he spelled his name right! Thankfully, while reading some of those assignments may make the average teacher shake their head (or laugh uncontrollably), they can do so in privacy.

Music teachers, however, are not so lucky. They must stand face to face with every student that attempts to warble out whatever song they have chosen to audition with, and not look like they’re being held there at gunpoint. No matter what sound emanates from that child’s mouth or instrument, you have to look them in the eyes and critique them without sounding like Simon Cowell before he became a Dad.

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6. Everyone thinks they have free time…

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Music teachers are constantly getting asked to help out all over the school because “It’s not like you have to write lesson plans or anything”, or “You’re lucky, you don’t have to grade papers.” 

Oh, little do they know! Music teachers might have more paperwork than anyone else in school with all the sheet music they have floating around. But sure, why not ask them if they mind staying after school every day for the next two months to help put together the spring musical.

7. They let their students hold instruments for the first time without even cringing…

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Classroom teachers have a hard time letting students handle pencils and scissors (with good reason!). Can you imagine giving them a musical instrument that could be worth hundreds of dollars? Then expecting them to use it properly at all times? It’s insanity, to say the least, but somehow these brave souls do it every year. Entrusting children with tubas and violas and flutes not knowing if those musical instruments will ever be seen again, or returned in one piece.

For these reasons and more… Music Teachers of the world… we salute you!

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7 Reasons Music Teachers Are the Heroes of Our Schools

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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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