How can I prepare for an interview for a K-6 music teacher job
August 27, 2007 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Tomorrow I have an interview for a Kingdergarten through 6th grade music teacher job. I would appreciate any insight that music teachers, principals or parents could give me about preparing for this interview especially if you've ever been in a music teacher interview.
posted by jeffreyclong to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have one word for you: recorders.

You need to know the latest research on how children this young can learn to play that very basic (and incredibly annoying) instrument and why it is a top choice (holes are the right size and close enough together for small fingers to cover, easy to learn, doesn't require a lot of strength or fine motor skills, very inexpensive so that each child can have a musical insturment of his own to take home and practice). Make sure you can take hearing the song, "hot cross buns," played several hundred times a week.

Yes, I am serious. Most educators in music right now are incredibly gung ho on small children learning music early because of documented correlations between the understanding of music and mathematics, and the instrument of choice for elementary school programs is the recorder.

So, for the interview: research the latest programs and develop a few lesson plans based on these premises. Be VERY enthusiastic (that's a must for anyone teaching grade school).

If you are male (I assume from the fpp name that you are), speak in a soft voice and stress that you are all about positive reinforcement and praise (one elementary school male music teacher I know of routinely made the little girls cry simply because he had a very commanding tone and they were intimidated).

Good luck!
posted by misha at 11:04 AM on August 27, 2007

Be positive and enthusiastic. Ask about doing chorus, PTA programs, etc. I second what misha said about recorders, great for early music. If you get the job, be sure to get the school to purchase you a subscription of Music K-8 magazine (Plank Road Publishing). The BEST resource for elementary music teachers. I taught for 8 years and used it every day!! Good Luck!!
posted by pearlybob at 2:59 PM on August 27, 2007

If you have any experience with special needs kids, the interview is the time to bring it up. Like, do you have certification, did you take a class on mainstreaming; stuff like that? And if you don't have experience with special needs kids, you might look into taking a class or two and tell whomever interviews you that you're doing so. You'll be working with all kinds of kids, from those who seem to be typically developing to those who have autism, ADHD, behavior disorders, etc.

Good luck! Music education is so very important; good for you for pursuing it!
posted by cooker girl at 3:41 PM on August 27, 2007

This is probably pretty obvious, but check out MENC and your state music ed board (for instance, here in Washington it is WMEA), as well as the collegiate affiliates. There are tons of resources for new teachers, including lots of stuff on interviews.

I'm moving right now, but if I can find my WMEA journal that talks about interview tips, I'll scan it for you.

Good luck! I'm hoping to be in the same boat as you in 3 years or so, so I'm eager to hear how it went!
posted by rossination at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2007

Sorry, that last post was terribly US-centric of me. You didn't list a location in your profile, so I assumed!
posted by rossination at 4:38 PM on August 27, 2007

If you play piano (to accompany the kids while they sing), play it right. My kindergarten-through-8th-grade music teacher played guitar chords on the piano. Every song sounded the same.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:11 AM on August 28, 2007

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