You Know That You Teach Elementary General Music If…(2018)

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Welcome back to those who just started their 2018-2019 school year! And for those who have been teaching some time, since their school year started last month or they are now mid-school year, congratulations for making it this far!

Elementary general music teachers are a unique bunch. There are certain attributes that we must possess to be able to successfully and enjoy teaching this age group. Here are some of those attributes…

You Know That You Teach Elementary General Music If…

  • On the second day of school, you pull out that free water bottle from that summer conference/workshop you attended because your voice is hoarse…or you grab your child’s water bottle from their summer camp.


  • You begin hoarding Amazon boxes, Pringles cans, little bites boxes, and pumpkin spice cereal boxes (we usually do not have these many snack items in the house at once!) for your students to create musical instruments from these materials.

  • Going to Target is like a vacation because of their Back-To-School sales for teachers and their Dollar Spot!

  • You love pinterest and you know how to laugh at yourself for your pinterest fails.
  • You could win an Olympic medal for how long you can hold your bladder throughout the day.
  • In addition, you could win another Olympic medal for how fast you can eat a meal.
  • However, when you actually go out with your family or friends, they stare at you for how fast you are eating your meal. Unless, you have young children…then eating your meal quickly is a huge plus.

  • You could teach college courses about pacing your lessons, knowing how to adjust and use your backup plans from letters A to Z, and cleaning up a room while dismissing one class as the other one enters, all doing this at the same time.
    • You know how to contain your laughter when a child says something cute and inappropriate.


  • You love teaching this age level because they are sponges. They love to create music and to perform. Your young students love to make up songs and tell you everything they know about music (and more). They look at you like a rock star and you realize that you can shape and mold their musical clay into something amazing.

Here’s to a wonderful school year! May it be filled with music, fun, love, and 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: