Are you a member of your local Music Teachers’ Association?
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I had never been in a Music Teachers’ Association until recently.
The biggest reason for this is that I didn’t come to music teaching in the traditional sense of a Music Performance Degree. These channels seem to be exposed to the benefits of membership to such associations as they also more easily meet the eligibility criteria. In fact , for my local MTA I needed to fit certain age criteria for General Membership that I only met last year.
I also questioned the value of such membership. I had been going along OK without being a member, so why bother now? There was all that paperwork to do in my application and I just hadn’t prioritised it.
This year I made it one of my goals to join my local MTA. I was finally old enough. So I set about completing all of the paperwork and all the different things required for my application.
One of the criteria was four written references from different people; colleagues, teachers, parents or students. I found it difficult to ask for a written reference. I didn’t want to put anyone out or take up their valuable time. I shouldn’t have worried, each person I asked was more than happy to write a reference. In fact it has been a lovely, incredibly validating process. It was humbling to receive such thoughtful, carefully written references.
The other criteria included a history of student exam results, education, training, scholarship and performance results and student numbers over the last few years. It has been an interesting process to stand back and evaluate the data. To see how I have grown as a teacher and how my studio has progressed over this time.
Now that the application is done, I’m pleased I chose to prioritise it this year. I am looking forward to participating in the Association and being a part of the development of our industry in my local area. I am also looking forward to having access to a broader community of teachers in my area. Other benefits of joining include their student performance days and access to professional development for myself.
If you are keen to become involved in the Music Teachers’ Association in your area, I would encourage you to check out their website and what the application process is. If there is something in the membership guidelines that doesn’t seem to fit for you just give them a call and ask.
Are you a member of your local Music Teachers’ Association? What does your association offer to you as a teacher? How many of their services do you utilise?