I haven't talked about it much here, but I've been working part-time at a restaurant since we moved down to Florida. It's worked out pretty well, because it allowed me to make a liveable wage and still gave me flexibility to pursue gigs and other opportunities as they became available to me. Over the past few weeks though, my schedule kept getting cut back further and further, so I had to start looking for a new job. After looking for about a week and finding that there were no music jobs that didn't require me to have a childcare license I was starting to give up on finding a music job. Then I found a listing for a keyboard instructor. I called on a Tuesday, had my interview on Wednesday, and started training on Thursday!
My first official day was Saturday, and I am loving this job. It's an after school program, and they only offer piano/keyboard, guitar, and drum lessons. I only teach private lessons, and while most of my students are under 10, I have a couple who are 15-18. So far they're all good kids and we're having a great time! My coworkers are all very friendly and helpful, and I don't have to deal with any of the scheduling, they have a two people on staff who handle all of that for the teachers.
All students use the same book system for their basics - the Alfred Basic Piano Library. There are around eight levels I think, and each one has a theory book, technic book, lesson book, and recital book. I'm really glad that these kids are getting exposed to good basics, especially in the realm of theory. Maybe my perception is a little screwy because I didn't start taking lessons until my senior year of high school and no music theory until college for me. If a student starts getting bored with their books, we can bring in outside music like their favorite song from the radio to keep them engaged and learning.
I've never taught piano before, and I haven't taught students this young before. It's very humbling to think that for some of these kids I am at the beginning of their exposure to music as an engaging activity. While it's easy to get lost in their antsy-ness and all the stickers we hand out, it's quite a responsibility to think that what I do and say might have a major influence on whether a child might continue on with music for a lifetime.
Over the last few days I've been cleaning/reorganizing my little room. Hopefully today I'll remember to post some pictures, be sure to check my twitter to see them: @balancedflutist
I'm so incredibly thankful for this job, and I can certainly say that having this job relieves so much stress. Happy Wednesday, everyone!