How many people here teach?
  • I'm curious how many of the participants here teach regularly? I would include directing a church choir as a form of teaching, but do you also teach in other capacities, such as teaching organ, teaching chant or voice, or other instruments? Do you teach only in the parish or also in private or at a music school or elsewhere? Are you paid to teach or is it volunteer?

    Any comments on how this has worked out for you?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    I retired from full-time teaching. Being a librarian, music teacher, and computer science teacher was pretty broad in subject matter and took an incredible amount of time. I'm still a part-time librarian with a federal agency and am nearing retirement from church music. My music teaching is more coaching for aspiring musicians who can't afford lessons. Yes, all the items listed in the original post are valid forms of teaching.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,479
    I am a private tutor (Chemistry, General Science, Physical Geography and Maths) but also run our choir (EF). I am also involved in the training programme for our children's schola.
  • I teach 9th grade US History... Guessing that probably doesn't count.
  • Ages ago... now in IT. Taught at least some subjects for most grade levels in small school settings, including a short time as an adjunct at a local college and corporate training for quite some time on various software systems and business skills.
  • I teach as part of my DoM job in the parish extended religious education classes. We'll have 78(!!!) students ages 6-18 in our Chorister program this year, which is now split into five classes (high school boys, high school girls, middle school boys, middle school girls, & elementary combined). I teach all of the basics of sacred music, including reading modern & chant notation, basic vocal pedagogy & ear training, sacred music philosophy (based on Tra Le Sollecitudini), and repertoire to sing for several high Masses throughout the school year. One of our priests who has an extensive musical and teaching background also teaches with me, as some of the classes have to run concurrently.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,060
    When I first started my career, I taught a decent amount of voice and piano students. I added seminary teaching responsibilities later, which I did for almost a decade. I also spent some time teaching elementary school music in the parish school for a few years, which was definitely not for me! I don't teach any lessons anymore, except to my children, as I'm in a healthcare field now.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    I teach 9th grade US History... Guessing that probably doesn't count.


    It counts.
  • Bobby,

    Have you ever taught U.S. History through the lens of the music people listened to/wrote/performed/sang?
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • ...through the lens...
    Confucius is said to have said 'if ye would know the health of a nation, harken to its music'.
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • TCJ
    Posts: 632
    Besides my job at the church, I teach PreK - 8 music at the parish school. I try to think of it as God trying to make me into a saint in a very rough way.
  • Full-time middle school English and literature teacher at a parochial school. I also direct my parish's schola, so perhaps that too.
  • I'm sort of between permanent homes right now and (for the first time in a many years) do not have a choir that I'm directing...

    Finding a very unfriendly atmosphere in my current locale in terms of chant for adults, I have been teaching a group of homeschool kids music classes every Friday. It has been a blast!
  • I have taught language arts and social studies at middle level.in public schools for thirty-seven years. I also have taught in after school programs at school and church and for ten years had an average of fifteen piano students. Also, my wife was a school chorus director for years and I was her accompanist. I love teaching and my salary as a teacher allowed me to support our family while serving as organist-choir director at a salary that was until recently well below average. I feel that God has been very gracious to me by making it possible for me to have followed two careers - education and church music - as I very much love doing both!
  • I have been a choirmaster-organist since 1964 (both choir and organ are definitely teaching - sometimes trying, always rewarding). My choirs have been adult SATB choirs, both volunteer, semi-professional and professional, plus childrens', boys', men and boys, and chant scholae. I have taught piano and organ, and coached voice privately for the same amount of time. In addtion to co-directing (Cardinian) chant workshops around the US, and lecturing widely on chant, sacred music, and liturgy, I was the founding choirmaster of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham. It should be noted that those who are so blessed as to be 'teachers of choirs' are teachers not only of their choirs, but of their congregations. Being magister chori is very much a parochial calling and a sacred ministry which is fundamentally paedagogical. And - our roots are deep, descending into the same earth trod by the ancient Jewish temple Levites!
  • I am DoM at one parish (which doesn't have a school) and K-8 music teacher (plus preschoolers in the all-day program, which isn't that many) at another. It's rewarding, but I am very tired.
  • I teach Chorus at a private Catholic girls' school. My students range from 5th grade through high school and I direct 8 separate ensembles which meet during the school day as well as after school. My parish is a downtown church with few kids or young families. Thus our choir is adults, all professional. While I may claim to teach, the professional singers in my choir teach me more often than not. I have also learned more from my school students about life than I ever thought I would.
  • Four and a half years working as counselor at a school for the mentally challenged. Two years volunteering as director of student chant group at my local university. Two stints working for the Society of Pius the Tenth, including my now current position - which is a blast. And yes, I’ve utilized music at all of these positions.
  • I have also learned more from my school students about life than I ever thought I would.


    I didn't provide a lot of detail in my first reply, but this is worth pondering over.

    The school I teach at, like many if not most Catholic elementary/middle schools, has few male faculty members. What I have noticed is that a fair number of kids, especially boys, who don't have good relationships with their dads (whether because of divorce or otherwise) have sought extra attention from me, some by acting up in my classroom and others just by coming up to chat whenever they see me.

    I, an unmarried man in his mid-30s with no children and very little free time, am entirely incapable for many reasons of giving the kids what they need, which is an involved dad who doesn't continually fight with mom. Obviously, I strive to be a good role model, but I'm not what they need, and it breaks my heart that they can't get it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    I encountered the same when I was teaching. The one thing I did was always find time to listen to them. If I had to cancel or reschedule something else, that was fine. Some kids just want someone who will listen. For obvious reasons, I would never be alone with them. Sometimes I would get 3 or 4 sitting around a library table and just listen to them talk. That may be one of the most important things I ever did. One of my former students tells me that kept him from suicide.
  • I really appreciate all the replies so far. It's inspiring. I've always loved to teach. My dad taught, my mom taught, many of my aunts and uncles were teachers, too. Funny, eh? I am slowly trying to rebuild something along the lines of a professional life here in this foreign country. I am going to stay with a parish music director next week to attend her choir rehearsals (and apparently teach the kids to sing a couple Gregorian chants, though I really wanted to learn from her...). I am continuing with the rather experimental 'English singing' days at the seminary, which offer a fun break from their classes in grammar. They really enjoy it, and are particularly fond of "Immaculate Mary Our Hearts Are On Fire...".

    I am trying to get a music coaching program going at a nearby convent, with my own voice teacher (who has proper qualifications for this sort of stuff) teaching the sisters to sing...in tune. It really is much more curable in a short time than I thought!! It surprises me how much out of tune singing people will tolerate! There's another nearby convent I finally gave up going to in part because of the really painful singing. They sing the hours and Mass every day of their lives!! Surely it would be more fun if they felt confident in the melodies and harmonies and so on? Perhaps they don't know the difference. Perhaps I can sic my voice teacher on them, too.

    Ew, wasn't there a sixties song "I'd like to teach the world to sing?" Sigh. I am forever marked by my hippie-era upbringing. But singing is such a joy, I really want to help more people enjoy that - even if they just sing simple stuff. There's a place for erudite training (I love it myself!) but it's cruel to inflict that on people who don't have much aptitude. The other cruelty is thinking people are too dumb to learn. I'd love to see the Church full of people who sing freely, fluidly, in tune, in rhythm, in groups, with confidence and a sense of fun. Especially the fun. Well, that's sort of my hope anyway. We'll see where life leads and what God wants of me.
  • My wife was in education for a number of years - we met through involvement in Community Theater and continued our courtship through collaboration on educational outreach called "Mad Science" which did after-school programs and birthday parties.

    When she was in Girl Scouts, she learned a camp song - "Once an Austrian went Yodeling". Later on, she had the brilliant idea of teaching it to her children and requiring them to sing it when they had the hiccups as "a cure". It was, in fact, purely for the humorous aspect. Her children invented other verses and are teaching it to their children.

    Imagine singing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxDVK-CSeUc while having the hiccups!! :) One of her many brilliant ideas!
  • I teach piano. I have to teach piano to supplement my ministry income.

    I like my students. I have had as many as 10 (too many while working full time and the students are school age). Five out of my current 6 students i have taught for 2.5 years. I enjoy teaching and seeing them progress. However, it can be tiring to have yet one more night taken up (after two nights of rehearsals already.)
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Scary: I knew the Austrian Went Yodeling song immediately, just from the title, from having sung it a few times 40 years ago.
    Thanked by 2Incardination Carol