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8 Signs You Work In Elementary Music

Signs You Work In Elementary Music

elementary music music teachers Oct 26, 2020

      If you’re anything like me, you love telling people about the life of a music teacher. You love sharing all of the fun stories from your classroom and can’t stop thinking about the next exciting lesson you want to teach. But let’s talk about all of the signs that really show you work in elementary music.

1. You have at least one instrument in your car at all times.

      This one dawned on me very recently. My school hosted a Panther Parade, where our families drove through our parking lot to say hi to the teachers and pick up school supplies. As I pulled into my parking spot, I realized I had a hand drum with me! I’m not sure how long it was in my car, but it really made the parade festive and exciting.


2. The Target Dollar Spot is your favorite place to find manipulatives.

      My favorite part of going to Target is the heavenly Dollar Spot right at the front. There are so many things in there for teachers of all content areas to utilize! My personal favorites have been the tiny bags of erasers. I use them to help students create rhythms with fun manipulatives. Next time you’re at Target, make sure you check it out and let your imagination run wild!


3. The songs stuck in your head aren’t from the Top 40 stations.

      I think we’ve all been there. A song is stuck in your head that just WON’T LEAVE! For most people, that song is probably from a popular artist that has been overplayed on the radio for days on end. For us, as music teachers, that song is typically one of the ones we’ve been singing in class recently. It may be a folk song or a nursery rhyme or basically anything you’ve been using with your students. 


4. You think in solfege.

      Expanding on point number 3, sometimes the song stuck in your head isn’t even in words. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been going about my day and suddenly find “sol-mi-mi” going through my head. It makes for some interesting afternoons, to say the least!


5. Your knowledge of dates is based upon major events.

      Sometimes our schedules get so hectic it’s hard to tell when one day ends and another begins. If someone asks you what day it is, you may have to stop and think about it in terms of upcoming events, like a concert. “Well, let’s see… I had Smith’s class today, so it’s Wednesday, and the concert is 14 days away, which means today is….” Looking at a planner or Google Calendar might be easier, but sometimes we just don’t have time for that!


6. You tend to sing everything you do. Everything.

      My husband has just learned to zone me out when I start singing around the house. I tend to sing-narrate what I’m doing. Dishes? Sing about it! Switching loads of laundry? You bet I’m singing about it. Cooking dinner? You betcha! 


7. You tend to drift towards the children’s section of book stores.

      There are so many great books to use in the music room! (If you’re looking for recommendations, we have plenty of posts on this blog about great books for your classes.) Even if a story doesn’t have a direct tie to music, you can often find themes within a book to use as ostinato patterns or even create short melodies. Walking amongst the children’s books sparks your creativity like nothing else! 


8. You hear ostinato patterns when you’re out in the world.

      Have you ever been walking in the park and heard a really neat rhythm from a woodpecker? Rhythms are all around us, and you’ve likely heard them yourself! One of the surest signs that you’re a music teacher is when you find yourself tapping those rhythms later in the day. It’s one of the most fun parts of having such a creative mind.

      Are there any other signs you’d include? What else do you do that people would consider essential for a music teacher? We have such a unique career that we sometimes forget about the little details that make us stand out from others. Let us know what you’d add in the comments down below!

This article was submitted by Rachel Ammons, contributing author for Interested in becoming a contributing author? Email resume and writing sample to [email protected].


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