Ted Brown Music Educational Services

Choose to Teach - March 2023

We're thrilled to announce the start of the "Choose to Teach" video series. These videos are designed to help you stay motivated through shared words of encouragement and support from colleagues who have successfully navigated these last few exceptionally challenging years. We appreciate the hard work you do and want you to know that you're not alone!

A Message from Eric Whitacre

If you feel burned out, take some moments for yourself and go back and listen to music that you love to remind yourself why you got into this in the first place.

Eric Whitacre
Composer and Conductor

Hey gang, Eric Whitacre here. Teachers, this is for you. I don't get to talk about this a lot but I started my career teaching. When I graduated from college I spent a semester teaching at a private school, 4th through 12th grade choir. I had 6 different choirs, and I remember them telling me that the job was like 7:45 to 2:45, 5 days a week. I get weekends off, I get holidays off, pretty simple, straightforward job. I've never worked harder in my life. Anybody who looks at that on paper and thinks, "Oh, I'll actually be able to put my job away when I leave school" has never taught, and certainly has never taught music. Each and every one of you know that it takes every molecule of your fiber and your spirit and your being to be a good teacher. And you really leave all the blood on the dance floor.

My message to each of you is that I worry sometimes that in the thick of it, working so hard, tending to every student and all of their needs, not to mention all the needs of the other faculty and the administration, the parents, that you forget why you started music in the first place. Why you went into this, that connection to the source, that love of music can become really distant and can be closed off. If you start to feel burned out like that, if you start to feel hollowed out, take some moments for yourself and go back and listen to music that you love, music that you cherish, that you adore. Listen to it with all your heart, with a big vulnerable open being, remind yourself why you got into this in the first place. And even better if you can, get together with some friends and just jam, just make music or sing or play the piano on your own, just reconnect to that. I think if you can find that spirit again, it'll make you a better teacher, it'll make you, you know, a more generous teacher, but most importantly, it'll keep you connected to your own joy and your own love. And then, then you'll be able to just go day in and day out and do what is the most noble job, but really the most difficult job.

I wish all of you my best, I'm rooting for you. I know you can do this. Be well. Take care of yourselves.