Music teachers face the exceptionally challenging task of inspiring their students with the drive to make music and equip them with the ability to do so. When looking for music teachers, hiring committees commonly seek individuals with a mix of passion and ability. To measure candidates’ suitability, such committees often depend upon interview questions alone. You should dedicate serious thought to how you'll answer the questions leveled at you, because answering questions in just the right way can mean the difference between getting or missing out on a job.
Being a music teacher is hard. If your heart isn’t in it, you may struggle to stand up to the rigors of the job. Clear up any doubts the hiring committee may have in regard to your dedication to the position by demonstrating your passion for music education. When asked why you became a music teacher, for example, provide a more inspired answer than, “I liked band as a kid.” Instead, tell a story of how music impacted your life.
Show Subject-Area Knowledge
As a music teacher, you'll be the expert in all things musical. Show the hiring committee that you possess the necessary knowledge by referencing facts and techniques when answering questions. For example, if an interviewer asks you how music helps children, cite statistics and studies that highlight specific proven benefits that musical study has on students.
The last thing an administrator wants is to have to serve as referee in a feud among staff members. Prove that your passion for music will not translate to inflexibility. If asked how you'd handle a situation in which a teacher tries to pull a student from your class to complete core-subject work, for example, don’t immediately jump into defensive mode and argue the merits of your subject. Instead, show your willingness to adapt and accommodate by explaining that you'd defer to policy or communicate cooperatively with your colleague to try to determine how best to handle the situation, suggests the National Association for Music Education.
Sell Uncommon Skills
Many schools want to create new programs and elevate existing ones. Prove to the hiring committee that you have what it takes to do both of these things. When asked what talents you can offer the school or what extracurricular activities you can help with, provide specific, impressive examples. Explain in detail a program that you could lead that would enhance the extracurricular offerings currently in place or prove a notable addition to the school or district.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.