Job shadowing in music education

Job shadowing is an important step in helping students determine the direction of their academic studies. Job shadowing and internships are crucial components of the career exploration encouraged by the Academies of Nashville. Tatyana B. observed Ms. Jazmin Johnson of H.G. Hill Middle School to learn about the daily activities, rewards, and challenges of working in music education. While shadowing, Tatyana was able to work with students on their preparations for auditions at the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association‘s Junior Mid-State Competition. Tatyana is a student at Hillwood High School‘s Academy of Business and Hospitality.

Hillwood student job shadowing music education

Tatyana job shadowed the band director at H.G. Hill Middle School

A few months ago, I was blessed with a job shadowing opportunity to observe the band director, Ms. Jazmin Johnson, at H.G Hill Middle School to learn more about what being a music educator actually entails. At that time I was at a crossroads between choosing music education, music performance, or some other field to be my major in college and, ultimately, my career. I felt it would be best for me to decide whether music education was a career I would enjoy to the fullest and be ready to commit to for a number of years.

During the job shadowing I mainly observed the different aspects of each class such as behavior, music, and the overall atmosphere. I asked many questions to the band director about the job and how it affects her life. However, the most important lesson I was taught came from the experience of seeing how diverse music education is, especially in middle school, since grade level usually determines skill level, how much can be taught, and what kind of music is performed. The job requires the teacher to be very adaptable and patient. I was even given a chance to practice this flexibility when I was given the opportunity to help a few students study some of their music for Junior Mid-State. This experience showed me how difficult it is to task myself so each student can get the most out of my assistance. I also found that it was very exciting to be able to sit down with students and give them the knowledge that I have so they can use it and share it as well!

After the job shadowing experience and looking back at my observations, I finally moved a couple of steps closer to the major I will choose and gained a lot of insight about the responsibilities and joys that come along with being a music teacher. At the moment I still have yet to decide what major I will choose. Having this experience has given me more facts so I can make an informed decision of my major before the end of the school year.

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