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

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When the school year begins, there are those experiences that bring you back to the daily life of a teacher. During the summer, our schedule changes and loses some of its structure. Even though we work over the summer and most likely teach, it is not quite the same as teaching everyday in our school systems.

Here are some items that remind me that, “You might be teaching the first week of elementary general music if…”

  • Though you had a “rock star” singing voice all summer, you lose it within the first week of school.
  • You are now frantically searching for that free water bottle you scored at a summer music conference.
  • Scratch that. You are now frantically searching for that free water bottle your child scored at their summer camp! 
  • You are questioning which rhythm counting system, recorder method, etc,  you are currently using in your classroom.
  • Instead of Disney World, Teachers Pay Teachers is the happiest place on Earth.
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    You like coffee, but during the first week, you are wondering how you can use an IV to directly inject it into your body.

  • You go to the grocery store and start singing the line up song so you can correct the crooked line at the checkout counter.
  • You picked out a nice outfit of a dress with heels on the first day. After the first day, you now recall why you wear mostly pants and comfortable shoes for the remainder of the school year (with the exception of concerts).
  • You realize that you have a super power: you can teach all day and hold off going to the bathroom until you have the few minutes in the middle of the day. 
  • Your fitbit or Apple watch averages 10,000+ steps a day for all of the active music making you and your students do each day.
  • You speak to the adults in your life with phrases such as “please,” “thank you”, “I like how you did that,” and “was that your best work?”
  • You are wondering if there is truth to this meme:
  • And this one…


Any finally…

You know that you might be teaching the first week of elementary general music when you realize how much you missed your students. You realize that this is where you want to be, you will have an amazing year with your students, and you are so happy!

Please add more!

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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: