Articles Tagged As wellness

Introverts: Surviving as a Quieter Music Educator

I think of extroverts and introverts in terms of batteries. True extroverts recharge their energy reserve — their batteries — by interacting with other people. They thrive in the spotlight, on meeting new people, on social engagement. Extroverts are the ones who must be dragged from a party and who feel no anxiety when they […]

Your Teacher Identity

I had an identity crisis during my first few years of teaching. I had to wade through the stressors of a new job, getting an ensemble ready for a performance within days of school starting, and trying to balance a personal life. I had an idea of who I wanted to be, but I wasn’t […]

10 Micropractices for Better Mental Health

Influential architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously said, “Less is more.” And luckily, this phrase is as helpful to busy music educators as it is to minimalist midcentury architects. As nice as it would be to stretch through a 90-minute yoga class, luxuriate during an hour-long massage or even escape on a week-long retreat […]

The Science of Awe (and Why it Matters)

Ah, rebranding. There’s a powerful emotion that used to be called “the sublime.” That idea first burbled up with the Greek philosophers, and then resurfaced later with the 18th-century art movement called Romanticism. These artists were trying to put a finger on how some experiences — like a stirring musical composition, an inspiring painting or […]

7 Self-Care Tips for Music Educators

Teaching music is a creative job that relies heavily on human interaction and personal connections with your students. While this profession is immensely rewarding, it is also very challenging, and if you don’t take care of yourself, you run the risk of burnout. In this article, we look at how music teachers can set a […]

5 Tools to Get Your Motivation Mojo Back

Ah, if only motivation came in a bottle, and you could crack open the cap and chug it down like a sports drink. Suddenly, you’d be motivated to rocket through tasks that previously seemed daunting or tedious, like entering 194 students’ midterm grades into the system or trying out a new program for teaching chording. […]

The Power of Oxygen and Green Spaces Can Boost Student Performance

What if you could grant your music students special powers like laser-focused attention, impressive productivity and the ability to make smarter decisions? You can, and it’s a simple solution: Ensure students get fresh air. A growing body of research has shown that having enough oxygen in a room can make people feel more energetic, focused […]

Create a Happiness Playlist

Mark Mallman is a Minneapolis-based songwriter, composer and performer. He’s written music for TV, has released eight albums, and his epic work, “Marathon III,” went on for 78 hours and spanned 576 pages of lyrics. A few years ago, he had an epic episode dealing with anxiety and depression — and he turned to music […]

The New Normal

“Nerv-i-cited” is how my daughter describes the feeling of being simultaneously excited and nervous. As the pandemic evolves, it’s only natural that music educators will feel extra excitement and trepidation about the start of school this fall. What will it be like once in-person classes resume around the country? How will students, teachers, families and […]

Strong Bonds: The Value of Teacher-Student Connections

“I remember that guy!” My husband was on vacation with his best friend since 1st grade, and they were laughing and reminiscing about a terrific teacher they’d had 40 years ago. Did this teacher set them up for better mental and physical health later? According to the research, the answer is yes. We often think […]

Reset and Rethink New Year’s Resolutions

You’d be forgiven for thinking that making New Year’s resolutions is a recent phenomenon — perhaps started by some 1970s ad campaign. But no. The first New Year’s resolutions were reportedly made 4,000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians. At an annual 12-day festival at the beginning of the year, they would pay off debts […]

5 Ways to Stay Positive

“Put one foot in front of the other…” Do you remember that song from the 1970 stop-motion film “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”? This year, the song seems less of a seasonal classic and more like a daily manifesto. Must. Keeping. Moving. It’s not easy to stay positive when so much is being asked […]

Why Everyone Needs to Practice Self-Regulation!

A toddler kicking and screaming in the middle of the produce section of the grocery store is not cute. But we understand that children are still developing. An adult slamming an office door or sending a really harsh email is definitely not cute and it’s unacceptable. Both behaviors stem from the same issue — a […]

6 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm

“I’m just so overwhelmed.” Bet you’ve heard — or said — that lately. Life sometimes feels like bailing water from a leaky rowboat. But lately, the waves have been coming higher and faster with remote teaching, changes in classroom protocols and general anxiety about the world at large. If your emotional life is a boat […]

Stay Connected During Online Instruction

To paraphrase English poet John Donne, no man or woman is an island. He wrote that we are all “a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” But teaching in a virtual class setting can sometimes feel like being marooned on a desert island. Sure, there’s interaction via videoconferencing, yet some days, it […]

The Power of a Stress-Relieving Routine

Flexibility. Focus. Creativity. And so many things to keep moving. Let’s face it: Music educators are consummate jugglers. There’s so much to plan, from teaching and organizing try-outs, to running rehearsals and overseeing performances and competitions. There are administrators to support, students to mentor and, sometimes, parents to placate. COVID-19 and the challenges of teaching […]

Positive Mental Health Strategies

The beginning of the school year is a good time for music educators to create a better routine for good mental health for themselves and their students. Below, are several strategies that come from mental health research. While I am not a mental health specialist, many of the suggestions below come from professionals who have significant experience and research in the field of […]

9 Strategies to Combat Burnout

When it comes to teaching and/or performing in the field of music, almost everyone has or will have to deal with “burnout,” which is a mental collapse due to stress. Oftentimes, people are afraid to discuss mental issues like burnout because many infer that if someone is burned out, then he has lost his love […]

Avoid Burnout

You became an instrumental educator because you love music and have a passion for sharing your talent with students. When your job inspires you, teaching may not even feel like work. But if you notice yourself getting frustrated by your school’s administration, parents and students, or if you’re beginning to question why you devote so […]

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