You Might Be Teaching the First Few Weeks of Elementary General Music If…

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A few years back, I wrote a blog post about items that tend to make me smile, or giggle, or break out laughing during the first few weeks of teaching elementary general music. As much as I try to plan for everything during the school year, the first few weeks of school bring me back to the reality of teaching. These items also remind me of how much I enjoy my job and how lucky I am that I can teach for a living.

You Might Be Teaching Your 1st Few Weeks of Elementary General Music Classes if…

  1. All summer, you were searching pinterest and the Music Teachers Facebook group so you can replicate the amazing music classroom pictures that the teachers were posting. Unfortunately, these photos below show my expectations and my reality:
  • Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 5.18.38 PM

    Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 5.18.31 PMHere is a pinterest photo of a cookie that looks like it will turn into the perfect runner once the dough is baked.

  • And, here is what it looked like once it was baked.
  • This is what it looks like when I think I can replicate the classroom photos. But, I love the process and the outcome gives me a good giggle.


2. You realize that after one day of wearing heels, you will never see them again until a concert or graduation.

shoes3. You adore every hug, smile, and sweet note you receive because the students missed you so much.

4. You can see the top of your desk because that will change very soon and you will not see it again until next summer-when you decide to clean it up.


poisonoak5. When you are given little “gifts,” such as a baptism on your music carpet or the lovely gift of a bouquet of flowers that turn out to be poison oak.

TpT-Marketing-Image-Dembroski-1024x7916. You forgot that you needed a separate budget line item in your personal budget for the amount of money you will spend on Teachers Pay Teachers.

7. By the end of the first week, you are frantically searching for the free water bottle you received at the (Alfred, JW Pepper, Hal Leonard, Feierabend, Jacobson, or insert name here) workshop that you attended this summer.

8. By the end of the first week, you realize that not only that you need to resume drinking coffee (as you gave it up for the summer), you are now are trying to figure out how you can insert coffee into an IV.

9. Your non-teaching friends are wondering why you have not posted anything on Facebook recently. In turn, your music educator friends have been reading your daily posts to the Music Teachers Facebook Group.

10. You are reminded of how much you love your job by the wonderful singing voices, the sweet sounds of instruments, the joy on the students’ faces when they dance and sing, and so much more!



Teaching music to elementary students is one of the best jobs there is! Enjoy this school year and make the most out of it!


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Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: