It’s been amazing to be back teaching in person. I started back at the end of September 2021, and had a break over January, but now I have a large portion of my student load who are taking lessons in person again. In person allows me to be more detailed-oriented, and on top of habits that my students are forming.
After so much time away, it took me a little while to get comfortable with loading my teaching gear. I was always feeling like I was forgetting things, and it made me consider what I was taking to my lessons more than I had when I was in the rhythm of being out of the house four or five days a week.
I usually bring my alto or tenor saxophones, flute, and clarinet to teach. If I have a student who is specifically studying baritone sax, or bass clarinet, I bring those in lieu of the alto saxophone, or clarinet, but I love carrying the alto sax, flute, and clarinet in my Protec Triple Case – I can almost carry my whole rig in that case!
Outside of my instruments, I bring my MacBook Air for online lessons, pulling up/creating charts, and all of the other administrative tasks that I need to take care of throughout the day. I also have my iPad Pro which is great for pulling up new music for students, and playing backing tracks. It also has all of the teaching tools that I need, like the tuner and metronome. I also use the Apple Pencil – it’s great when I need to make charts on the fly! I also need to bring the adapters for power, and ethernet.
I’m fortunate that I keep most of my printed materials at my studio, so I’m never stuck when a student forgets their books.
There are many non-musical things that I bring to my lessons. Here’s a list of what is important for me to have for a good teaching day.
- Water Bottle – I use a 40oz water bottle, and I usually fill It up three or four times through a full teaching day.
- ChopSaver – I use it constantly. My lips feel great, and don’t crack!
- Deodorant – when I have 6-8 hours of teaching it’s important to freshen up every few lessons.
- Phone Chargers – I am not an anti-phone teacher. My students make voice memos, and take pictures of our lessons on the dry-erase board. I also have students who are coming from school, and they are walking home alone. I always encourage them to have their phone charged in case the need it. I carry Apple, and Android chargers.
- Indoor shoes/spare socks – I haven’t been doing this as much because the weather has been cold here, and not super wet or slushy, but as the snow melts, extra footwear just keeps me comfortable when I don’t need to have wet feet for a day.
Are there any items that you bring that make your teaching day better, or more comfortable?