For teachers, especially ex-teachers...

  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    May 24, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
    So the gist... I've been a music teacher for five years in the same building (which hasn't been the best of experiences to say the least, but figured more experience would eventually land me a better job placement).

    Was released with 363 other 1st thru 7th year teachers from my district and I'm pretty sure I'll be called back but just in case...

    What are some other fields that former teachers have wandered into given the current economic ridiculousness? I have no idea what other areas I would qualify for with my skill set. Every other music teaching job out there has 200-500+ applicants and now I can't even land an interview. I'm still applying. I can't really imagine doing much else.

    Advice please!
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    May 24, 2011 3:33 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear that.
    So what do you play?
    How about playing in private events with other musicians or private lessons?
    I'm sure clients like mobility and flexibility (i.e. you go to them at their schedule).
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    May 24, 2011 6:56 AM GMT
    oof I left music teaching as my main source of income, because its too much of a "luxury" in this society, and luxuries get passed up first when finances ar down... I now only do it privately, and dont make it my full time job
  • BardBear

    Posts: 533

    May 24, 2011 10:02 AM GMT
    Performing arts teachers, arts teachers in general, are always on the short list. And with most districts, sadly, it's last one hired, first one hired-when, in reality, those are the cheaper educators for they are usually fresh from college.

    Being an experienced teacher of twenty plus years, I always find humor that, when times are lean, they fire teachers, but the administration always seems to stay the same in number. They rail against the union, but, well, there's your evidence.

    Other jobs? Surely, but we'd hate to see you leave teaching. My recommendation is, if you don't want to move, investigate other teaching areas. I am a theatre arts teacher, but doubled up with English and Deaf Ed areas so I could find a job a bit easier should just this situation occur. My recommendation is find a teaching position, other than music, and see if your district would be willing to hire you-as you go back to school to get licensed (not necessarily a degree) in that subject area. Sometimes, they'll grant you a temp license whilst you do this.

    Secondly, if you think the job will open back up...try being a "guest teacher" for a short period of time.

    I hope that helps. Good luck. PM me for more discussion!

    Peace,
    Bardy
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    May 24, 2011 10:28 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear what happened to you!

    Like someone else mentioned you can try to give private lessons,but that's not really something that can pay the bills unless you're a sought after teacher or really good at marketing yourself.

    Last year in my city a lot of the teachers that have been working 5 years or less in the district got laid off. Some went back to school & some just got a random job somewhere to pay the bills.

    What do you play?

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    May 24, 2011 10:34 AM GMT
    I was a music teacher for over twenty years before I got out -- BURNED out, actually, but that's neither here nor there.

    I still play gigs and accompany rehearsals for local theatres, etc -- and to be honest, I'm glad to be rid of the politics and in-fighting at schools.

    My income-path has gone down a completely different road -- I sell testosterone therapy for a clinic in DC. But I still think of myself as a musician first.
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    May 24, 2011 11:16 AM GMT
    English teachers are a huge demand in east Asia, thats why i'm here in China.The pay is quite high generally and you work very few hours and you need no degrees or certifications of any kind (in china anyway). You only need to be a foreigner. Its quite ridiculous really. You should look into it. Also living in China is quite fun, it's not really much like how its portrayed in the media
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    May 24, 2011 11:18 AM GMT
    but an ed degree is more useful than a performance degree or BA by far and takes so much less work

    I disagree with this comment. I worked hard for my BM in ed -- subsequently a Master's. I've played piano in professional pits, national tours, and even on Broadway -- none of which required a degree, btw -- but the hardest work of all was teaching.

    If you aren't willing to work hard in college and learn your instrument and your craft, and you want to get one degree because it takes less work than another, then you should seriously reconsider trying to be a working musician. There are a LOT of musicians out there in the world, and the good ones work HARD.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    May 24, 2011 12:10 PM GMT
    I worked hard for a Dip Mus. Worked for two years/18 months as a freelance musician - playing piano in restuarants or in hotels and also as a Church Organist doing weddings, funerals etc. I held down two consecutive Church positions.

    I found that doing my passion as my living killed it.

    I also found the competition really hard, the hours long, wages low and vaccancies for Organistships few, hard to come by and sometimes not even paid due to Churches closing / not being able to afford a proper musician/ Trendy vicars and all their happy clappy low church Graham Kendrick shite type music ripping out organs and disbanding their choirs.icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif

    I just thought sod it.
  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    May 24, 2011 12:46 PM GMT
    Trollileo saidUgh. That totally sucks. I'm currently a performance major looking at switching to ed major. I don't plan on teaching, but an ed degree is more useful than a performance degree or BA by far and takes so much less work. I just hope I can get lucky when I look for a job. Hopefully the economy won't be so far down the shitter when I graduate from college.



    Whoa, I'm standing right here. My education degree was a shit-ton of work. If you're not planning on teaching but u think a performance degree is worthless then why are u even studying music? Get another "useful" degree and u can still go and perform with your already developed talent.
  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    May 24, 2011 12:56 PM GMT
    Since several asked, I play viola. I do teach private students but nowhere near enough to equal a full time gig plus insurance. I am willing to move but it seems like the majority of the country is in the same boat. Any londoners need a string teacher? Amsterdam? ;)

    The sad thing is what is being done to the education of our students. While USA is always trying to compete (Ra Ra) why is education always the first to get cut? Something not quite logical there.

    I suppose I'll just see where fate lands me. Maybe I'm destined to be an exotic dancer in NYC. Lol
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    May 24, 2011 12:58 PM GMT


    I was a music major and I even went to a conservatory. Got realistic and did other stuff. I have a lot of friends who are still in the music business. One piece of advise for $$$ is to give private lessons. Three of my friends are doing it and they are raking in 50-60 per hour. Not bad source of extra income (and I suspect they don't pay tax either...shhhhhh). As far as a more secure income...try broadway or off broadway? In this economy you need to think outside of box and be more adventurous. Good luck!!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 24, 2011 12:59 PM GMT
    Well.. I'm on the Board with the Heart of American Men's Chorus in Wichita, we are going to be taking applications for our new AD very soon, but its more a half time job.
  • Chunner

    Posts: 87

    May 24, 2011 1:00 PM GMT
    I went to work for my family at their business but I have 2 friends that got jobs at Costco and have moved up to management already and they both love it
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    May 24, 2011 1:02 PM GMT
    dannyboy1101 saidSince several asked, I play viola. I do teach private students but nowhere near enough to equal a full time gig plus insurance. I am willing to move but it seems like the majority of the country is in the same boat. Any londoners need a string teacher? Amsterdam? ;)

    The sad thing is what is being done to the education of our students. While USA is always trying to compete (Ra Ra) why is education always the first to get cut? Something not quite logical there.

    I suppose I'll just see where fate lands me. Maybe I'm destined to be an exotic dancer in NYC. Lol


    I think viola jobs are not easy these days. Still better than violin though! I have a friend who graduated Juilliard with masters and she is in finance now...go figure. And she actually got an offer from the Honolulu symphony orchestra but decided it wasn't for her. icon_sad.gif
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    May 24, 2011 8:14 PM GMT
    Ah the viola, something I picked up in high school thanks to a lack of violists but plenty of 2nd violinists (of which I was one). Indispensible for an orchestra but not very flashy and nobody wants to learn it for the amount of work to learn the new clef. icon_lol.gif
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    May 24, 2011 11:10 PM GMT
    I got out by choice last year to go back to grad school full-time. Having more credit hours or another degree might not hurt at all. I'm not sure about your district, but in most places having more hours moves you up on the salary schedule. But on the other hand, they may look at what they have to pay you and decide not to bring you back. Tough call.

    Other friends of mine who got music or music ed degrees now work in instrument service or band supply stores. That might be worth looking into.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    May 24, 2011 11:24 PM GMT
    Can you get a job with a community college or 2 year school? I've tried to look into it myself, but the cold hard truth is that you have to have AT LEAST a Master's degree in your field to be competitive. I've noticed where some schools will allow applicants to compensate education with experience as long as an applicant has a BA/BS in their field - those are usually temporary or part-time instructor positions. Music seems like a 'field' that would qualify.

    I know times are extremely hard. I found out last month 400-500 teachers will be "let go" starting in August at a neighboring school district - that doesn't even count the district I live in. To say people are in a panic is a gross understatement.

    Interestingly enough, local, "small business" owners are flipping out the worst since their most consistent and stable customers were the people who had public sector and teaching jobs - they were relatively comfortable spending money due to their formerly stable jobs.

    A few of my former college friends who just graduated a few days ago are trying to get teaching jobs with some local school districts, but the cold, hard reality hasn't hit them yet, and I haven't had the heart to 'slap them in the face,' figuratively speaking, with reality - especially the people who majored in education.
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    May 24, 2011 11:26 PM GMT
    Good luck, man, and think about this as a turning point in your life. Everything happens for a reason, and I know that it doesn't seem like it now.

    I stopped teaching two and a half years ago after 6 years. I moved to a new city, and wanted to try something different.

    I went to work for the government. I like the change of pace, and like that I don't have to deal with the yelling of parents when their kids fail.

    I also know people that started tutoring companies. You may find a whole group of homeschooled kids that want a private tutor.
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    May 24, 2011 11:32 PM GMT
    Sorry about your predicament.

    Probably you've already thought of these things, but. . .

    Private lessons

    Becoming part of the city's symphony (should it have one)

    Teaching at community college

    Composing themes and jingles for commercials, TV programs

    A "traveling" teacher who provides weekly or twice-monthly music appreciation to a number of area schools. . . (in my elementary school, our music teacher visited us once a week). . . or offering a similar service to a private school(s) or community college

    Possible you could teach another subject within your field, or close to your field?




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    May 25, 2011 12:19 AM GMT

    that sucks.
    Our society is so fucked up. They treat music as a luxury when it's one of the most fundamental aspect of society. People want music in their home, in their car, when shopping, in parties , in every single event imaginable yet are oblivious to its impact.
    Except a minority ( like my students' parents who are willing to dish out major money for lessons ) .

    i tried school teaching and hated every minute so went back to private only.
    of course no matter what there's always a flip side , but i prefer being my own boss .

    hope you find something soon.
    Most private teachers i know are really busy up here, so why don't you give it a try ?

    Takes a while to get established but after that it rolls.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 25, 2011 2:46 AM GMT
    I am in somewhat the same condition. After taking my first teaching job things didn't go as I expected. I am trying to come up with ideas of what to do with a teaching degree with my focus in Social Studies. I have applied for several business jobs, thought about Grad School or even thinking about going into Special Education.

    It sucks to be in this position, but I guess when one door is closed, another one will open.
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    May 25, 2011 2:49 AM GMT
    I think going to a foreign country would be an excellent addition to your CV, e.g.teaching English while learning a foreign language and culture. Who knows, you might be able to teach the viola to your English students too. Plus it might help a little in reversing the trade imbalance.icon_lol.gif
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    May 25, 2011 5:41 AM GMT
    I'm kinda happy now that I didn't go to college and major in Flute performance. I've had lessons with some amazing people,but they always seemed to be broke...lol.When I was taking cello lessons and trying to decide what would I do after my 4 years of high school are done. My cello teacher leaned in and told me to never major in Performance lol.

    During the last few weeks of school. My Freshmen Earth science teacher told the class that when it's time to decide what to do in college to not become a teacher,because they make pretty much nothing.

    Guess I was lucky to have such honest teachers...