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I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t have a musical bone in my body. I quit clarinet after only one quarter in fifth grade. Although my shower singing game is strong, my sister would also tell you that I couldn’t hold a tune if my life depended on it. So, I have a deep appreciation for those who are musically talented.
One person that I particularly appreciate is the music teacher in my building. I’ve learned that teaming up with my musically inclined pal is beneficial for both of us. If you find yourself looking for a partner in the building, why not pick the most obvious choice? It’s another person who also has a passion for the fine arts!
1. Showcase Together
One of the most successful times the music teacher and I collaborate together is during our Fine Arts Night. It’s no longer just an art show, it is a mixture of art and music. You might be thinking that an art show should only be about art. The truth is, you can get more people into your building to view the art by letting music play a part. The families that come to hear their children sing will stick around to see all the beautiful artwork and vice versa! Plus, music is a work of art all by itself.
2. Partner…Don’t Pout
Do you get students pulled from your class to practice for their upcoming music program? Try not to get frustrated by those missing art minutes. Instead, sit in on rehearsals and help with crowd control. After all, your music teacher is trying to manage all the classes at once. They may need some help! Your music teacher will be so grateful for the backup. Plus, he or she will be more likely to return the favor if you ever have a student that needs to do make-up work.
3. Create and Collaborate
Whenever my music teacher puts on a music program, I always ask if the stage needs any artwork. Inevitably the answer is “Yes!”. Instead of making it myself, I employ students to help out. I always make sure the artwork falls into their curriculum. The students love seeing their work on display in front of the whole school. As a bonus, if there are songs students need to learn for the performance, you could experiment with playing them during work time.
Another way to collaborate is through lesson planning. If students are studying a particular piece of music, style of music, or composer, see if you can create a corresponding project in the art room. For example, if students are studying a Russian composer, it would be a great time to look at Russian architecture. Or, if students are studying rhythm, you could talk about how artwork can have rhythm as well. You could even have students create work inspired by musical instruments! Sit down with your music teacher and see how you can help each other out in this way.
4. Be Friendly
If you feel alone in your school, remember that the music teacher probably does too. He or she will often understand your situation better than anyone else in the building. I often go to mine and share funny stories, vent my frustrations, and simply hang out with another friend in the fine arts world.
So many positives can come from building friendships with colleagues in your building, especially those that experience a similar course load and creative curriculum like you do! Hopefully these four tips will be a great foundation for creating a working relationship with your music teacher.
Who do you most relate to in your building? What makes them special?
How do you partner with your music teacher throughout the school year?