By Tina Schwahn
I spent a number of years working outside of the field of Music Education. Throughout those years I had titles such as Claims Examiner, Interviewer, Scheduler, Receptionist, Office Manager, Legal Secretary, Project Manager and my favorite of all, Solutions Support Consultant. All of those jobs were just that – jobs. There was a definite distinction between my work and my home life. Work-Life Balance is a buzz word in the corporate world, and it works for the corporate world because of that distinction. It is not always easy to achieve, but it’s at least easy to visualize. Like the opposite ends of a spectrum, or the two sides of a see-saw – you have work, and you have life.
It’s not that way with music education. The term Work-Life Balance just doesn’t apply to us because it implies that our work is separate from our life and that only when work ends can life begin. For most educators, teaching is our life. In one of my general education courses, our professor asked the class to raise our hands if we felt “called” to be teachers/educators and every single person raised their hand. Just like ministers never stop ministering, and doctors never stop doctoring, we never stop teaching, and in our particular calling, we also never stop “music-ing”.
Take for example a public high school vocal music teacher. The school’s core offerings of the following: a non-select mixed chorus and then three select choruses of Freshman chorus, JV chorus and Varsity chorus. At a minimum, this requires preparing a minimum of 16 pieces of music per quarter. Add to that some sort of general music/music
Org & Admin in Music MUS 8610 Summer Session ‘F’ 2009 Tina F. Schwahn
appreciation course and a beginning music theory course. Already we have more than most other secondary teachers in any other subject area outside of music (because as we all know, elementary/general... [continues]
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