Music As A Teaching Profession In Schools With Jedidah A Shimray - Eastern Mirror
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Music as a teaching profession in schools with Jedidah A Shimray

By Moakala T Aier Updated: Jul 02, 2024 10:52 pm
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DIMAPUR — Jedidah A Shimray developed a deep passion for church music during her upbringing, a passion that would eventually shape her academic journey in music.

Her musical journey began in her hometown of Ukhrul, Manipur, where, despite the lack of formal music schools or institutions, she was fortunate to receive private lessons.

Later, at Patkai Christian College, under the guidance of Margaret Anne Shishak, Vivee Peseye, Lipokmar Tzüdir, and Zingrin Shishak, she acquired skills and experiences, eventually completing a degree in music.

She admits she arrived at the institute with no prior skills but credits the college for honing her talents. “I am indebted to my teachers for what I am today,” said Shimray, who has been teaching music at Father Agnel School, Delhi, for eight years. At present, the music teacher also teaches at Theme Institute and Institute of Music Dynamic, and has previously worked at The Shri Ram School, Moulsari, and Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon.

The Grade 8 piano teacher prepares students for piano grade exams conducted by boards such as Trinity College London, the London College of Music Examinations (LCME), the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), and Rockschool London.

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Shimray also teaches vocal and theory and SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) for events including annual days, inter-school competitions, and Christmas celebrations. She regularly organises music performances and musicals.

In an interview with Eastern Mirror, the Western music teacher provides an overview of music as a teaching profession and more…

Music education is highly beneficial for students. Many schools in cities have introduced Western music education programmes to develop students’ creative and social skills.

While school can be dull for some, music education transforms it into an enjoyable experience, akin to a breath of fresh air. It opens doors to numerous opportunities, such as choir performances, musicals, orchestras, and competitions, which are enjoyable for both students and teachers.

As students play instruments, sing in choirs, or form bands, they develop a passion for music while acquiring valuable life skills and enhancing their interpersonal abilities. Meanwhile, parents who support their children’s love of music are helping them develop and thrive in life.

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It takes a lot to be a teacher, and while you will find great musicians, those musicians don’t always make great music teachers.

Based on my 10 years of experience, I would say the most important skill is patience. Patience is arguably one of the most crucial traits for a music teacher. Understanding that each student progresses at their own pace and being patient with their learning process can foster a positive learning environment.

Also, good communication skills, a solid knowledge of your chosen instrument, music theory, music history, technique, sight-reading, creativity, and other music-related skills are important.

Master of Music (MMus) and Bachelor of Music (BMus) degrees, diplomas, or at least Grade 8 qualifications in specific subjects are common credentials. However, there are many exceptional teachers who do not possess these certificates.

Often, these individuals are artists who gain recognition through their performances and are typically referred to by others. For my interview, I was required to perform a piece, sight-read, and sight-sing to qualify for the role of a music teacher.

In most schools in Delhi, including international schools, music degrees from institutions such as the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London College of Music Examinations, Trinity College London, or Rockschool London are mandatory qualifications.

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To build a strong portfolio, one must remain consistent and stay actively engaged with music. Exposure is crucial for getting noticed, so it’s important to use any platform available to showcase your talents. This approach helps you gain valuable experience.

There is a high demand for music teachers in both private institutions and academic schools and colleges. Music is a universal language with no age limits; some of my students range from as young as three years old to as old as seventy.

Teaching music has broadened my repertoire, the styles I teach, the instruments I play, and my methods and approaches. As my students improve, I need to practice more to stay ahead of them. If you are aiming to become a music teacher or a better musician, you’ll be amazed at how much teaching contributes to learning. Remember to work hard and give your best!

Like other academic teachers, a music teacher also needs a lesson plan to stay organised and consistently practice to avoid losing touch with music. It’s also important to attend seminars, workshops, concerts, and plays and to participate in music-related activities. Personally, I am part of the church choir at Tangkhul Baptist Church in Delhi, where I serve as the church pianist. It has been a great experience so far.

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Teaching music is something that I truly enjoy doing and could see myself doing for the rest of my life. It makes me feel at peace because I am doing something I genuinely love. There is the obvious benefit that teaching is a great occupation and teaching private music lessons is a steady job that can pay quite well.

However, for the last couple of years I have been teaching piano at private institutions and a choir director at a school in Delhi and going by my experiences, I find it very rewarding when my students perform well in their exams and I feel content to watch my students perform well at our school events and concerts and see their confidence grow.

I have parents walk up to me and tell me how much I have impacted their children’s lives. It is very motivating.

Meeting the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, along with my students on Christmas Day to perform at his residence was an experience that I will cherish for a lifetime.

A doctor (maybe) because, as a kid, I wanted to be one and I was also passionate about event management, especially weddings.

Emma Raducanu and Carlos Alcaraz.

Also read: ‘It’s all in the mind’: Sports psychologist Daewon Nongrem on mental fortitude in Nagaland athletics

By Moakala T Aier Updated: Jul 02, 2024 10:52:09 pm
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