If you want to learn something better, you should teach it. This especially rings true for music teachers. Unlike formerly, when a music teacher’s career began when the musician or singer in that person decided to hang his/her boots, many musicians and singers today choose to become educators for its own merits. Not as a back-up, or because there was no other oar to grab but because of the benefits of teaching.
Why become a music teacher? What attracts people to it today? Is it to give back to the field that has introduced harmony and a sense of order in their lives, a practical alternative, a filler between performances, or simply because they want to spread the joy of music? Let’s explore the various benefits of being a music teacher. Plus how and where you can become a music educator who can make a real difference.
1. Chance to explore the learner in you
You might have noticed that when you teach someone something, you understand it better yourself. This is because you think from the point of view of a learner – consummately tackling the question/problem, at hand, head on and then turning it on its side, upside down and examining it from every conceivable angle. You also search for answers to those hundred questions that form in your own head as you explain a single line to your student. This ensures that you are thoroughly prepared on the subject. This is what some researchers call the protege effect – where you put in more effort to learn when you teach someone else.
So, don’t be surprised when some of those concepts you struggled with as a music student unravelled their secrets to you as you started teaching them! Finding answers to questions that couldn’t find an appropriate expression within you and having those glorious light bulb moments are all perks of being a music teacher! Pretty awesome reason to become a music teacher, isn’t it?!
“When teaching, you often have to figure out different ways to teach the same lesson. I have found that that has helped me understand those concepts and lessons a lot better,” shares Ambi Subramaniam, violinist, composer, and co-founder of SaPa India.
2. Instils discipline
If you are also a performer, you know that there are music seasons when you will be busy from dawn to dusk and then some, and lean seasons when you will have to be disciplined enough to practise and maintain your music. Teaching helps instil that much-needed discipline. As you teach, you can also revise your basics. You might not necessarily return to your humble beginnings but this ensures that you do. Helping you maintain that solid foundation on which you built your music.
3. Opportunity to network
Teaching introduces you to other performers. It also connects you to a prospective audience. Networking with an interested set of musical communities ensures that you have a ready audience to showcase your music to or bounce ideas off of each other. You will be exposed to different musical genres, styles, interests, and ideas, which will fuel your own music.
SaPa conducts live classes in Carnatic and Western violin, Carnatic, Hindustani and Western vocals, percussion, and many more musical pursuits. Apply now to become a SaPa educator!
4. Power to mentor talent
Few things are as satisfying as seeing a student you taught flourish in their chosen profession. When you mentor students of music enabling them to play a song, compose a riff, write an original piece, master a technique, or perform at a concert, the joy you spread has to be experienced to be understood! Since music can be appreciated by even those untrained, the work of music teachers is visible and measurable making it that much more satisfying. Not to mention the power to shape music careers and transform lives. Not something every professional can boast about!
If you are a performer, you know all about the erratic schedules of performing artistes. You may be travelling through different time zones across continents at one point of time or you may be stuck in your studio apartment waiting for a callback for a performance at another. Unpredictable sums it up really. No matter what your schedule looks like, if you have a job that can help you stay rooted doing what you love doing, it would give you that buffer that you need to stay on course to your dream. The music education profession does just that for a musician or singer – ensuring that life is stable and balanced.
6. Earning potential
The most hard-headed musician will tell you that without commerce, nothing can survive. Naturally, it is important to make money alongside making music. Teaching music gives you the wherewithals to pursue your passion alongside. Performers can hold private coaching classes when they are not in concerts or shows to ensure that there is a steady flow of income that allows them to grow the wings they need to explore their musical potential. This also takes some of the pressure off their performance and helps them play or sing freely.
So many reasons to become a music teacher! But how do people go about teaching music?
How to become a music teacher
Music teachers are ‘born’ in many ways. Some formally train. Others are performers first and then educators. Some teach privately in their homes, while others become part-time assistants at studios, academies, and schools before turning professional and pursuing it full-time. Some others teach and perform like many of the educators at SaPa. So, as you can see, there are many ways to become a music teacher.
NEP and Music Education
The wonderful thing about becoming a music teacher today is the opportunities that present themselves thanks to the new National Education Policy 2020 embracing arts and particularly music in its purview. So, schools and colleges offer bachelor’s degrees in Arts with Music Education. This enables students to learn about the various ways in which music can be a part of their lives – playing, singing, composing, producing, teaching and so on. This has widened the scope to formally train in music and envision a career teaching music as, now, more positions will be created for these professionals.
Read about the possibilities of music being a career option for your child.
If you feel inspired to become a music teacher, let’s see what skills you will need to fulfil your goal.
Qualities of a music teacher
Music teachers come in different shapes and sizes – but music academies and schools generally look for
- Skill in a musical pursuit – singing, dancing, composing, directing, choreographing, producing, editing, writing, and so on.
- Ability to communicate articulately with students
- Patience to teach the same lesson or technique repeatedly
- Ability to gauge students’ skills – developing strengths and mitigating weaknesses
- Positive attitude to encourage students
Singer, songwriter, and co-founder of SaPa India, Bindu Subramaniam reveals, “I look for energetic, open minded people with a growth mindset; a person willing to learn, with both musical and communication skills.”
“A combination of patience and attention to detail and adaptability. Especially when you are teaching young kids it is important to get them to love the subject. If they love the teacher, they will love the subject in most cases,” says Ambi Subramaniam.
Why become a music teacher at SaPa?
Music teachers appreciate their own creative space with constructive feedback and clear career growth opportunities in their field. Music educator Savitha shares, “What we look for in an academy is trustworthiness, job security, work culture, vision/goal, respect for employees, personal growth, and of course, rewards and recognition for talent.”
SaPa shares a structured curriculum and provides educators with all the guidance and administrative support required to effectively follow their passion of educating students in music. It also conducts regular workshops for educators to ensure they are up to date with the dynamic music education industry.
“To us, it is people first in everything, so we consider that happy teachers will translate to happy students.” shares SaPa’s COO, Veena Anand.
“SaPa is a community of people passionate about music, and creating impact. We want to make the world a better place through music. Spreading music is very powerful. If you are passionate about music or being a performer, this career allows you to pursue performance, find opportunities, and do what brings you joy,” summarises Bindu about SaPa’s philosophy.
If this is what you are looking for in your career growth, apply to become a SaPa educator for a rewarding career in music education. You will also build relationships that last a lifetime!