Appreciate your Music Teachers

A couple months ago, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) ran a series for "Music Monday", which occurs on the first Monday of each May in Canada. Music Monday is a time to celebrate the impact of music, and of music education. CBC took this time to feature several letters from prominent Canadian musicians to music teachers, thanking them for their dedication to music education, and for influencing them to pursue a career in music.

The impact of music teachers is hard to measure in quantitative terms. In a society where as children and young adults we are increasingly pushed to pursue careers in “money making” areas like science and math, music teachers are vitally important in showing how important and fulfilling a career in music is. They may be the first people in our lives to introduce us to the beauty of music making, and to nurture our growth as artists. As we continue to grow as musicians and enter professional careers, we may still have teachers who act as advisors and coaches, supporting us along our journey.

Looking back, I’ve been very lucky to have a veritable army of teachers behind me. In high school, I went to a public school with a pretty amazing music program - two full time music teachers, multiple courses in both vocal and instrumental music, bands, choirs, and an annual musical. Having those resources available to me (and a team of supportive music teachers) certainly influenced me as a teenager to strongly pursue a career in music. My experiences in those classes showed me that I loved music, and that I was much better at it then many of the more traditional courses I had to take, like math and science.

As an adult, I'm lucky enough to have a regular vocal coach and teacher who is not only gifted at voice instruction, but also serves as a mentor and friend. She’s an essential part of my life as a musician, and keeps me motivated and moving towards new goals.

So, as you can probably tell, I think music teachers are awesome! But what do you think? How have music teachers influenced you, and do you have any great stories about them? If so, share them below!

Aside from working for Bandzoogle, Justin has been lucky enough to work as a soloist for many companies in Toronto, including Toronto Operetta Theatre, Opera in Concert, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, the Annex Singers, and the North Toronto Players. Recent engagements have included the role of Ralph T. Rackstraw in North Toronto Player’s Starship Pinafore, as a soloist for the Annex Singers’ Opera Choruses concert, and his own spring tour of Irish folk music.

Posted by Justin on 07/17/2012 | 9 comments

Comments

AspireMusicSchool
Posted by AspireMusicSchool on Aug 6 2012 3:07 PM
Well stated and I think also it is great to say that teaching music is one the areas where there is still opportunity for the person that is driven and has the right qualities where they can make a quite a bit of money ( mostly privately and at college levels) but still I never gave up on my dreams to do music full-time long after everyone in my life , well ALMOST everyone, said I was crazy. I do just fine money wise. Can't WAIT to go to work every day. I wonder who is crazy now! Thanks man, and you guys have the best deal going right here. It just shows you need to look for where your passion matches up with the demand (known or unknown) that people have everyehwere there is opportunity or misery. Which will we choose? Kyle O Music Business Coach Music Teacher AspireMusicCLub.com
Midnight Special
Posted by Midnight Special on Jul 21 2012 11:20 AM
Hey Justin, love your post. I'm curious about your bio; do you know Sharon Poelstra? She's a good friend of ours and was involved in the opera world as you are (including Winnipeg Opera Company), perhaps you've worked with her? She lives in Stratford now and is probably hitting 50 now. Anyway, I too am a product of a wonderful music program in Mississauga, with a great music teacher with whom I credit for fueling my passion. Today, I'm a music teacher as well with Upper Grand District School Board (Wellington and Dufferinn County) and have been for 20 years. You are right, the current educational climate does not intentionally foster the importance of music; it's a "data driven" instruction in literacy and numeracy; quite a sad state in my view. Anyway, take care and if you have a chance, check out our site and let me know what you think? I'm always looking to improve it somehow. Take Care, Wayne Peeters MidnightSpecial Band
Fabrockators
Posted by Fabrockators on Jul 21 2012 2:34 PM
I agree, more music education is sorely needed.
Justin
Posted by Justin on Jul 23 2012 3:18 PM
@MidnightSpecial I haven't met Sharon before, but I have certainly heard her name before! I've been mostly situated in Toronto/Ottawa, so I haven't crossed paths with her. It's wonderful to hear about your teaching experience, and I love your point about "data driven" education - so true! I'm going to take a look through your site over the next couple days, and send you a message through your account with some ideas. Thanks for taking the time to connect!
Midnight Special
Posted by Midnight Special on Jul 25 2012 12:02 PM
Thanks Justin.
Midnight Special
Posted by Midnight Special on Jul 28 2012 11:58 AM
Hey Justin, I know you're busy, but did you manage to check out our site? Wayne
Abby Feferman Music
Posted by Abby Feferman Music on Jul 30 2012 6:04 PM
I love this post, Justin! I can really relate to this part, "In a society where as children and young adults we are increasingly pushed to pursue careers in “money making” areas like science and math, music teachers are vitally important in showing how important and fulfilling a career in music is." I have had private and group guitar lessons as well as private voice lessons. I have had a few teachers throughout those lessons, and each one has taught me something special. There are definitely a couple who really stand out and who showed me support and encouragement when nobody else would. Music teachers are so important. They don't just teach us how to play an instrument. They understand our love and passion for music, and encourage us to follow our dreams. I am very grateful to them for that. Thank you so much for sharing this post! :)
Aspire Music School
Posted by Aspire Music School on Aug 6 2012 3:07 PM
Well stated and I think also it is great to say that teaching music is one the areas where there is still opportunity for the person that is driven and has the right qualities where they can make a quite a bit of money ( mostly privately and at college levels) but still I never gave up on my dreams to do music full-time long after everyone in my life , well ALMOST everyone, said I was crazy. I do just fine money wise. Can't WAIT to go to work every day. I wonder who is crazy now! Thanks man, and you guys have the best deal going right here. It just shows you need to look for where your passion matches up with the demand (known or unknown) that people have everyehwere there is opportunity or misery. Which will we choose? Kyle O Music Business Coach Music Teacher AspireMusicCLub.com
Allison
Posted by Allison on Aug 7 2012 6:36 PM
MidnightSpecial - Justin emailed you from your account on July 28th with a site review. Let us know if you need help with anything else!