A music educator is a teacher who specializes in teaching the performance and appreciation of music, either instrumentally or vocally. In elementary schools, music educators help provide early foundations for creative expression and knowledge of music and identify children who may have aptitude and talent for music and performance in order to nurture these gifts. In middle and high schools, music educators may specialize in bands, choral work, or higher-level music theory.
Teachers who are primarily music educators tend to be assigned to more general studies in younger students. It is incumbent on this teacher to impart his/her own enthusiasm and passion for music to the students. Typically, music educators of elementary-age students will introduce concepts like scales and basic music performance, often using rudimentary instruments like recorders to establish the necessary musical vocabulary for more advanced instrumental and vocal training. They also help lay the groundwork and vocabulary through which all levels of music theory can be taught effectively to students.
Music educators also help students improve individual performance and hone their skills. Many work in after-school programs, such as school bands or choirs, and teach students the skills and teamwork needed to perform as groups and help build the confidence needed for solo performances, as well. They often find it useful to teach appreciation alongside music performance, as well, to help develop familiarity with the art of composing and wide-ranging tempos, tones, and styles of music.
Music educators are typically college graduates with music-related degrees and some sort of background in education. They must also be accredited with the same teaching certifications which are required of other teachers at elementary, middle, or high schools. They should be fairly proficient with a variety of instruments and techniques, as well as have the patience to guide students of various aptitudes through the learning process. Most music educators work school days during the year, and after-school and even weekend work is fairly common, as well.
Music Educator Tasks
Instruct students individually or in groups using a variety of teaching methods.
Conduct individual workshops or demonstrations on specific skills or topics.
Adapt teaching materials or techniques according to student needs.
Observe students to determine ability and limitations, and offer corrections or advice on improvement.