Take a Risk – Try Something New

After teaching middle school music for a few years, I decided to allow students to try 3 instruments for a month each before choosing their permanent instrument. I had never heard of any music teacher doing this. I felt that it would give students a better chance to pick the instrument that best suited them. It has been a huge success and that it how I continue to teach instrumental music.

Sometimes as teachers, we have ideas that we would like to try and that we think would improve student learning. It can be difficult to do things in a way we have never seen them done before. After talking it over with a couple of trusted colleagues to make sure it is feasible and safe, do try new things! This is how we improve.

Now, when it is time to pick a permanent instrument, my students make better choices with which they are more content. They may play these instruments only for a couple of years with me, or they may play them for the rest of their lives. Some may go onto to be professional musicians! Taking 3 months at the beginning of the music program seems like a small amount of time from this standpoint. Many more students love playing their instruments since I’ve taken this time at the beginning to provide a more informed choice. I am glad I took a risk!


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