It’s 2pm and you haven’t finished prepping for your afternoon music lessons!
Suddenly you realize you need to get that easy version of the classic Journey Song, “Don’t Stop Believin’. You break out in cold sweats, your heart starts to palpitate as you envision yourself scrambling to transcribe and write out a hand-drawn lead sheet for your best student.
As you scribble furiously in your manuscript notebook, you remember someone saying that they found a beginners version of this song online. You look at your watch, it’s now 2:14pm. Darn! Where to go?
Relax. Take a cool drink of your iced tea, and fire up your web browser. Here’s a great list of places to find most of what you need. And if it’s not here,
This is the second part of an interview with music teacher John Gardner. John is also an avid technologist and able to be a virtual assistant with music arranging/composing and general office skills through his company Virtual Music Office. You can see Part 1 here.
Technology for Teaching Music
Andrew: Do you use any technology or software in your day to day running?
John: Yeah, I like that question. I use Skype some when I’m doing the remote lessons. I use Finale notation software. Some students are working on something specific. There is a weakness that they have and I’ll write an exercise for them. I want you to do this or I’ll transpose something for them or for someone else.
An interview with John Gardner, band teacher, entrepreneur
John and I connected on LinkedIN and we got speaking about teaching music, the new technologies available, trends in music education and safety precautions when teaching children, both for the child and the teacher. John also has a business supporting other teachers and musicians called Virtual Music Office where he offers virtual assistant services, copying/arranging, marketing and tech support.
John is full of great wisdom from years of experience. I’ve broken this into 2 parts.
I’ve been talking to music teachers all over the world to learn and share what their best practices are. One of my standard questions has been “What would be your best advice for a new music teacher – someone just starting out?”
It’s Just Business
Music teachers are creative folks and artists, so we are sensitive types for the most part. We want to hear the good stuff and the hard to hear comments too. But it can affect us. One of the common pieces of advice that I’ve heard is to take it all in, but don’t take it personally.
I used to fret and worry and feel personally slighted if I didn’t get a response to every single email. Or I would actually feel like someone was avoiding me for some unknown reason.