First real teaching gig...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tutin_trumpeta, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. tutin_trumpeta

    tutin_trumpeta Pianissimo User

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    Apr 10, 2008
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Hi Guys,

    I've just been offered my first real teaching gig at the one of the schools I did a placement at for my PGCE. I've taught a number of pupils trumpet before but never been employed as a trumpet teacher. I'm a qualified secondary school music teacher so I have an idea about pedagogy and suchlike but can anyone offer me any general advice about teaching i.e. how to carry on where my predecessor left off etc. bearing in mind most of the kids will not have touched a trumpet since school broke up 6 weeks ago...

    Thanks in advance.

    Best wishes

    Nick
     
  2. Trumpet1Ohio

    Trumpet1Ohio Piano User

    294
    1
    Jun 22, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Hi Nick,

    Congrats Nick. Need a bit more info so we can offer some ideas for you.

    Are you going to be teaching one on one or in a group setting? What are the ages of the kids? It sounds like you're going to be teaching trumpet only, correct?
     
  3. tutin_trumpeta

    tutin_trumpeta Pianissimo User

    131
    0
    Apr 10, 2008
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Thanks for the swift reply Ken. Having seen the system in the school the group size I will be teaching depends on the ability of the players. The beginners tend to be in groups of two or three (never more than 4) and as they progress the group gets smaller until it is just a single player in the lesson. This isn't ideal but as the lessons are free for the pupils the beginners have a habit of missing lessons. I will be teaching yr 7 thru 11 (11-16) and, yes, purely trumpet. There is another teacher who teachers lower brass.

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
  4. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    493
    4
    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    At the start do more observing than actual teaching, sizing up the players' strengths and weaknesses and that way the transition from the old teacher to you will seem much more gradual and perhaps easier for the students to handle. Quite often, especially if they liked the former teacher, the "new teacher" can seem like a drastic change and so can face a hard time.

    If you find things you need to alter drastically from your predecessor, you can smooth the way by saying something like "I know Mr. X had you doing that like you just did, but I'd like to see how it would sound if we tried it this way." Then be clear in what you want to change and be willing to admit if it doesn't work out. If it does result in better sound and better music making, then point that out to them and let them have an "aha!" moment and be willing to make the change.

    You won't be able to make drastic changes to the older students, but be sure to start any first-year players off with your own approach, using your choice of materials. Over time the program will become yours but don't expect it to happen overnight.

    Be gentle and avoid saying things like "I can't believe Mr. X had you doing it that way!" because it will just antagonize the students who may have loved Mr. X and it won't accomplish anything other than to show them that you need to build yourself up by tearing down your predecessor.

    Go easy and realize that any redirection in the program which you wish to make will take months and maybe even a couple of years to accomplish. Be pleasant, be very complimentary (but not falsely) and you should be just fine.

    Regarding attendance, institute some sort of bribery system -- keep attendance records and tell them that the person with the best attendance record will get a [fill in your idea of a prize they would actually like to win] and if anybody gets perfect attendance for the term they will get a [fill in extremely nice but still affordable for you prize].

    Work with the other instrumental teachers and ensemble directors to make sure that whatever you do will fit in nicely with what they're doing and what they expect.

    Good luck!
     
  5. tutin_trumpeta

    tutin_trumpeta Pianissimo User

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    0
    Apr 10, 2008
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Thanks for the advice! Having worked in the school before (on placement as a student teacher) I know a few of my pupils already and I had the advantage of talking to my predecessor on many occasions so have a bit of an idea how she used to do things but never sat in on any of her lessons.

    I really can't wait to get started.

    Nick
     

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