While updating my LinkedIn profile earlier today, during which I forced myself to reduce my curriculum vitae to five catchy points to succinctly sum up who I am and what I do, and it occurred to me that those of us who are freelance music teachers or musicians, or both, have to wear many hats in the course of our working life. Added to that, if one has a family, one must factor in a whole ‘nother skills base, and demands upon one’s time. Since it’s nearly the end of term, this is a slightly tongue-in-cheek post, though the underlying sentiments are more serious. I expect those who do a similar job to me will recognise many of these roles!
CEO – I run my own company!
ENTREPRENEUR – I took the risk to set up my studio (company), purchase the equipment, and seek out clients
DIPLOMAT – a child arrives, upset by something that has happened at school, and needs gentle coaxing and encouragement to participate in his/her piano lesson
TEACHER – obviously!
COMPOSER/ARRANGER – adapting music from the charts or a tv show that a student has requested to learn (I’m currently engaged in writing out the theme from The A-Team for one of my students).
CHILD WHISPERER – several parents have complimented me on my “child-wrangling” skills and my ability to get a group of kids on the stage and performing
I.T. CONSULTANT – making sure my computer/iPad/iPhone work to serve me, my studio and my students; managing my website and blog, ensuring content remains fresh and up to date
PR/ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE – marketing my skills and my studio, networking to make new connections, keeping up with friends and colleagues for mutual benefit, keeping abreast of what is new in teaching/pianism
IMPRESARIO/CONCERT PROMOTER/ARTISTS’ MANAGER – I organise twice-yearly concerts for my students, for which I do all the publicity, write the programme notes, provide the post-concert refreshments (including homemade cakes!), and get everyone sufficiently motivated and excited to get up and perform.
THERAPIST – a couple of my adult students regard their lessons as “time out” from their busy lives, and sometimes a lesson becomes a chance just to talk to de-stress
JUGGLER – organising my weekly schedule to accommodate teaching, my own practising/study, running the home and looking after my family
STUDENT – teaching, for me, has become a wonderful, endless circle of attainment and study, especially since I started having lessons myself again two years ago.
Since I also run a home and care for my family, I could add some other “jobs” to my profile: cook, taxi driver, nurse, cleaner, laundress, cat sitter.
Which hats do you wear? Please feel free to leave comments. For a longer, serious article on this subject, go to ComposeCreate.com