Music Ed Mentor Podcast #048: Setting Realistic Expectations

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #048: Setting Realistic Expectations

Chris Munce is an accomplished choral performer, conductor, educator, clinician, and arts administrator. He’s also the host of the Choralosophy podcast. I’m proud to say that I was one of his first guests on Choralosophy. We talked about burnout and life hacks – two of my favorite subjects! Today’s discussion with Chris dovetails with those conversations. We talk about something that could be considered a life hack for music teachers – something that can help you avoid burnout.

We talk about setting realistic expectations as a music teacher.

We’ve all experienced this. You go from playing in this amazing collegiate ensemble to teaching ultra-beginning band, choir, or orchestra, and you’re making all kinds of mistakes with your expectations. Maybe you expect your students to behave like the kids in your methods classes. You expect them to be able to perform, and to at least understand what you’re saying. You may even expect them to listen to you!

But where do we draw the line? How do we find balance? How do we manage our expectations so that they are both achievable for our students, but also pushing them along? Join us for an inspiring discussion!

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Key Takeaways

  • Having an over-arching philosophy for every level you teach is essential
  • Realize that beginners can sound as good as advanced performers; if only on single notes
  • The only discipline is self-discipline

Additional Resources

Elisa Janson Jones

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, manage, and grow 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 is a frequent conference presenter, podcast guest, and contributor to music education magazines. 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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