Re: Music education as a second career
Posted by Hodor on 9/5/2022, 10:03 am, in reply to "Music education as a second career"
Here's my personal experience. I had a music performance degree and didn't get into band directing until I was 37. I couldn't really afford to go back to school for the missing music ed classes so I did alternative certification and opted for clinical/student teaching instead of an internship (where you just go get a job and get certified after a year). |
I did not get a job my first year. I was tied to my metro area through family and performance opportunities, so I wasn't applying statewide but I did apply for nearly every job and the area, received a couple of interviews, but wasn't hired. I ended up working as a a substitute teacher and was lucky enough to be a long-term band sub for several months.
I later found out that people are often hesitant to hire alternative certification candidates because a high percentage of them end up quitting in the first couple of years. This may not affect people in core areas as much because of the number of teachers needed, but it can limit opportunities in more specialized and limited fields like fine arts.
I've also come to believe that my age has been an issue for many directors when I've been applying as an assistant. It's certainly not every director, but there are many who have a very specific way they want things done and would rather mentor and groom a young assistant. I think they might be be cautious of hiring an older assistant for fear that they'd be less likely to conform.
This is mostly speculation. I'll probably be looking for a head position soon, but in my two stops as an assistant, both of my head directors have been rebellious types who don't like being told what to do and likewise don't feel they should dictate what their assistants do. I think that's why they were comfortable hiring an older assistant and why somebody who wants more control over all aspects of the program might not want to.
Despite my experience as a professional musician and the success I've had thus far as a band director, I've seen myself get passed up for jobs by kids coming straight out of college.
Just to gain experience, I started applying for head positions this past year and got as much or more interest than I did when applying as an assistant.
So, to answer your question. I do think a majority of directors would prefer the music ed major with little experience. It doesn't mean you can't or won't get a job, but I think it does make it somewhat harder.