Music Ed Mentor Podcast #035: Wisdom from Band Directors and Composers

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #035: Wisdom from Band Directors and Composers

Today’s guest, Mark Connor, is an in-demand composer/arranger and a teacher with more than 20 years of music education experience. In addition to his current role as the band teacher at the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in St. Louis, Missouri, Mark is also the host of Everything Band.

This podcast that features interviews with leaders in the concert band, wind ensemble, and marching arts communities, including notable guests like Ann McGinty and Jack Stamp. Don’t teach band? Please stay with us.

Mark shares some of the wisdom he has gathered from more than 70 composer and conductor interviews, and most of it is equally applicable whether you teach choir, orchestra, or elementary music. Join us for a wide range of topics, from “avoiding the imposter syndrome” to “What would you tell your 20-year-old self?”

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Key Takeaways

Especially in your first 5 years you have to give yourself a lot of grace

You have to allow yourself to make mistakes in order to become the educator you were meant to be. It takes grace to get past the struggles, criticism, and self-doubts that are common in the first few years.

Music can be a job and a hobby

Whatever feeds you – whatever makes you feel good IS good. Just because you teach band by day doesn’t mean you can’t play in the community band by night. Go with it!

Find a mentor

This might be the most important advice I hear again and again. Find your tribe. Reach out to the more experienced directors in your area. They are so often willing to help and can become your lifelines. The hardest part is simply asking them for their help.

5 Essential Podcasts for the Modern Music Educator

One of the secrets of continual growth is to have an endless supply new ideas to build on. This week’s bonus is my list of essential music educator podcasts. Also included is a “bonus bonus,” a few of the podcasts I enjoy just for fun.

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Additional Resources

Elisa Janson Jones

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

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