How to win a music job…
So, you are working on your music degree, and you are worried about working after you graduate. No doubt, your parents have asked or told you that you there are no music jobs. They are wrong.
Don’t worry about it…and prepare.
You WILL find a job. But you have to prepare. Preparation starts now, while you are in college. Relationships. Relationships. Relationships. You have to create good relationships. If you’re not a social person, work on it. It’s a skill. Be nice. Be kind. Be reliable. Even if people treat you badly. Don’t spout off on social media how angry you are. Noone wants to hear your complaints, and people don’t like to be around a complainer. They want to be around a leader. Lead by example and kindness.
Decide on what you want to do…and learn all you can.
Will you be a high school choral, band, or orchestra director? Whatever you decide, you have to make a decision, and learn all you can and learn skills that will help you be the best teacher at whatever you decide. For instance, if you think you will be a high school choral director, remember, you will win a job. However, most likely you will NOT win the dream job, with a well-established choral tradition, as your first job. You may start at a new school district with a brand-new program, or an older district with no music program, or something in between. Whatever the situation is, you have to prepare now, while you are in college. For instance, learn more piano. You may have to be your own accompanist. Also, learn more about band instruments, because you may need to teach part-time band as well. Also learn garage band, the basics of guitar, and song-writing so you can teach students interested in composition or popular music. As a band or orchestra director, these ideas pertain to you as well. And if you don’t think you will need piano skills, think again. I have attended at least 3 concerts at the elementary, middle, and high schools in Lincoln recently. All the band directors were doing more than just conducting. They were playing piano to accompany their groups! In addition to teaching your ensemble, you can attract more students to your programs with song-writing classes, guitar classes, and garage band classes. As your program grows, so will your ensembles. So, learn all you can while in school, and take enrichment courses after you graduate. Continue to learn and take classes to earn graduate degrees because your pay will increase as you take enrichment courses.