Call for Submissions
Michelle C. Rautmann, MMTA Publications VP
Teaching is a very giving act, no matter what field. Anyone who teaches an applied
instrument (private or group) knows that validation of their teaching can fluctuate rapidly and dramatically from year to year, week to week, even day to day. It’s a fight that we find within ourselves to make sure that what we do will be a recognized success, by either student, parent, or community.
It’s nice to think that we have a much higher, more altruistic calling to wield our craft and extend music’s magic to others. We live to give enjoyment and a deeper sense of meaning to our audiences and students . . . derived from a strong dose of egotism and a will to win. I don’t know many applied instrument teachers at any level, who don’t have a strong need to overcome the mental, emotional, and physical obstacles that come along with playing and teaching an instrument. In fact, we thrive on that need.
Every teacher has a varying degree of modesty, but when we take a step back to see that our studio has a waiting list, our students win competitions, continue on into music careers, or are simply ecstatic with the music we chose for them, our inner motivation jumps for joy. We are validated. So, we continue our selfless acts of teaching through patience, love and wisdom.
As private and institutional studios embark on a new school year, we begin the process of validation through our traditional methods and perhaps some new ventures. New jobs, new students, and new challenges will require us to rise to each occasion with professionalism and grace. MTNA members share a common aspiration to take part in engaging opportunities, both inside the studio and out. Our students benefit from MTNA adjudicated performances and educational opportunities.
We will find more ways to feel the success of our teaching, more ways to validate, all
while keeping an eye on the beast. I would love to hear from our MMTA members: what makes you move forward? what are some set backs (mundane or not) that you’ve overcome? what has been a validating moment or moments in your teaching career? Feel free to share your experience as we reflect on welcoming the start a new year.