This week I wanted to share with you some of my favorite observations from this month’s book club choice: The Savvy Music Teacher by David Cutler. This book has been inspiring and motivating me to be a much more creative and well, savvy music teacher.
Here are Eight Amazing Quotes from The Savvy Music Teacher by David Cutler
1. “Their studios are small, their income is meager, and their experience consists of limping uncertainly from utility bill to rent payment while living in constant fear of students abandoning them. But such struggle is not an indictment of music teaching as a profession, or a confirmation of its limitations. It’s simply evidence— powerful, impossible-to-ignore, punitive, gray-cloud evidence— that something is missing from that teacher’s skill set.”
I love this quote because it acknowledges some of the inherent problems in music education today (no business or entrepreneurial training) and it offers hope. Just because these things might not currently be in our toolbox, it doesn’t mean they cannot be acquired. Taking the time to develop some basic business knowledge should be a high priority for all independent music teachers.
2. “On the flip side, a sound financial model increases the likelihood that teachers will find the psychological space to offer their best.”
When we are making enough money to pay our bills, and to live a decent life, our stress goes down and we have the energy and resources to be the kind of vibrant and passionate teachers our students need.
3. “Great music teaching is great business. Beyond providing a dynamic and prosperous career path, it transforms students, families, and communities.”
Did you have a music teacher that changed your life? Well, there you go.
4. “Savvy Music Teachers are unique characters in the lives of students, particularly children. With one-on-one weekly meetings that span years, Savvy Music Teachers are a constant force with a front-row seat for many of life’s milestones: learning to read, pursuing hobbies, junior high dances, and the hunt for college. Beyond a parent, what other adult figure has this kind of continuous access and influence? Not the classroom teacher, sport coach, or band director. Playing this role is a privilege and honor, accompanied by significant responsibility. The ultimate impact and consequence of your work has everything to do with how these interactions are approached.”
It’s a pretty special relationship if you think about it. My first teacher taught me and all of my sisters. My mom drove to her home once a week for almost fifteen years. We saw her as much or more than we saw our grandparents.
5. “With its potential to foster curiosity, innovation, discipline, humility, spirituality, empathy, or monstrously wild dreams, it is no wonder that music has played a vital role in every society since the dawn of time. Music can change the world, and it has many times over!”
Yes, we can change the world. One beautiful human being at a time.
6. “The best innovations amplify student impact, engagement, enjoyment, and achievement. They increase retention and differentiate your studio while serving as effective marketing.”
What makes your studio unique? What fun engaging activities do you do that can draw new students to you?
7. “Ironically, when values like ownership, meaning, and community are placed over the relentless pursuit of perfection, students often play better. Nervousness diminishes, the condemnatory ego is suppressed, and confidence rises. As a result, students increase engagement, practice harder, and improve more rapidly.”
I need to remember this. I need to read it every day.
8. “Failing to address issues of personal finance and well-being isn’t heroic. In fact, it can be dangerous, even detrimental. Acting responsibly about money does not signify a lack of commitment to students or art. It does indicate that you care for yourself while helping others.”
Put on your oxygen mask first, folks.
I’m only about half way through the book, and I’ve learned so much. It gets into the nitty-gritty details about income streams and running a business and all of the information is very practical and actionable. I can’t wait to implement everything I’m learning.
What are your favorite quotes from the book? Share yours in the comments!
Not a member of the Plucky Music Teacher book club yet? Click Here to Join the Book Club.
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