The topic of divorce has been close to my heart in this past year as I have witnessed it first hand with my sister. However good or bad the situation is, the main goal is to keep our children in music lessons with a trusted teacher. It can be healing, beneficial in its consistency, and an escape for the child.
As I have watched my niece go back and forth to the different households, I have made note of some of the things that are helpful in her piano lessons. In addition, I have reached out to teachers and other divorced parents to ask about their tips and tricks. If you have other suggestions, please feel free to comment or send me a note!
Well, last you heard, I had just completed my Yoga Teacher Training...and now, I just finished my Music Teacher Certification. Ha!! I told you I had been busy! And thanks to COVID for shutting things down, it helped me stay a little more sane!
So, what's all of this music teacher certification? Wasn't I already qualified to be teaching piano? Well, yes, I was and still am. However, I wanted my national certification.
We are all members of our local (Dallas), state (Texas), and national association, which is Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Through MTNA, they offer a program for teachers to get their national certification, but it has nothing to do with how long you've been teaching or your experience. Once I applied to be certified, I had one year to finish five projects.
The 5 Projects were:
#1: My Teaching Philosophy and a statement of my Educational Goals. This was pretty easy and straight forward.
#2: Analyzing Four Pieces from different eras. (side note, this was probably the project I avoided the most! Each piece required 1,500 words, but it definitely tested my theory skills, and I really had to study for this one!)
#3: Present My Teaching. For this one, I had to get one of my students who would allow me to video tape and analyze, and state my goals (repertoire, theory, & technique) for him. I also had to submit past student theory tests, festivals and contest critiques, and student evaluations. I sure am glad I had always had those! Whew! In addition, I had to perform a piece of a certain skill level (I put that off too).
#4: Share Information about my Teaching Environment (which I'm sure they were totally jealous of in seeing our awesome studio space pictures! Ha!
#5: Discuss My Studio Business Ethics and Policies, including how I respond to parents and students about certain things.
I was able to send in the 35 page report by the end of April. My certification was confirmed at the beginning of July! I was so nervous waiting!!
So, why did I do this? I think it was the challenge! It wasn't easy! But the hardest part was probably just doing it and getting it done. There's never been a question of whether I have the education or the skills. But, knowing that I could be a nationally certified teacher just feels better. I like bettering myself with more continuing education, and I will have to in order to keep NCTM (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music) at the end of my name.
A few people I would like to thank:
My parents: Thank you for giving me an amazing education and always encouraging me to reach for the stars. You continue to be proud of me and be some of my biggest supporters. Thank you for teaching me how to work hard.
Navir: Thank you to the sweetest boy who allowed me to video tape our lessons. It was totally weird at first, but then we got used to it! Your practice habits make me look like an amazing teacher! And our last videos were taken via Skype! Ha!! Thank you for going with the flow!
Logan: Thank you for helping me with analyzing. Seriously, sometimes I felt like an idiot and you just laughed with me! Thank you for proofing! You are such a wonderful friend!
Meredith: Thank you for proofing the final draft!! You are literally the best proofer ever! And, thank you for being patient with me and then for celebrating with me!
My husband, Brian, and my kids: Thank you for giving me a little extra time on the weekends to work on this. I would often get up early on Saturday and Sunday mornings to sit with my coffee and my computer and work on my certification, which would then last for hours.