I am a music educator in a small city about 25 miles north of Detroit. I received my Bachelor of Education in music from Wayne State University in Detroit in 2003. I’ve been teaching in this district ever since.
When I was hired, my job description was “Elementary General Music” including recorders and band. Within 2 weeks I was tagged to accompany the high school choir. I now co-direct at the high school three days a week while keeping up with my elementary music job.
We have a district with 8 elementary schools (K-5), 2 middle schools (6-8) and 1 high school (9-12). There are 6,000+ students in this middle class district. There are 2 full-time band directors at the high school and one at each middle school. Every elementary school has a 5th grade band program. The instrumental music program is very strong. We have 1 hour of choir at each middle school and 2 hours at the high school. The vocal music program is rebuilding at best. They are very strong, but small in numbers.
The music educators in this district are quite fortunate – we see our students for 80 minutes a week, 2-40 minute classes. We have a very strong curriculum and a very supportive administration, K-12. That is partially because of the success of our band program. Our music programs are considered among the best in the state, and we received the honor of being named one of the Best Communities for Music Education in 2006. Our community is extremely supportive and we do not take that for granted.
Our district is very interested in technology for the students, and I try to use it as much as I can in my classroom. I love to read blogs of those who use it – so many wonderful ideas out there!!! Thank you for those who share. I look forward to adding my ideas to the mix. Hopefully someone will be able to use them!