March to the Music.

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Music in Our Schools Month is a national celebration that I have always been particularly fond of. Prior to joining the MajorClarity team, my professional knowledge was a combination of work experiences in two very different industries — Education & the Music Business.

Before I became a secondary English teacher, I was a tour manager for a five-piece band. In this field, I quickly discovered that success hinges greatly on continuous communication and collaboration among numerous industry professionals. Through my interactions with this diverse group of people, I came to the realization that while there are in fact many industry-specific jobs unique to the field of music, there are a substantial number of jobs which are not. Rather, many of the people I interacted with on a daily basis could have been working in similar capacities in a variety of industries.

For instance, I coordinated marketing efforts with a graphic artist who designed event posters for venues, as well as album covers and other promotional items for our team, such as flyers, stickers, and branded t-shirts — tasks which are necessary and beneficial to business endeavors across a variety of industries.

I learned that many of these individuals had been strategic in their career planning, and intentional in their decision to apply their expertise to a field that they were passionate about. As a teacher, I often shared this observation with my students as they began making their own plans for the future.

One former student of mine, Makayla, who was an exceptional writer, notified me that she was leaning toward earning a degree in criminal justice or political science. With one parent practicing law, and one parent working as a private investigator, she explained that her decision seemed like a practical step forward. After a particularly inspiring whole-group discussion soon after, the student nearly jumped out of her seat to share with the rest of the class that she had finally “figured it out.” When asked to elaborate on her “a-ha!” moment, Makayla explained that she could merge what she excels in - writing - with something she is fervently passionate about - research and problem solving. She decided that a career as an Investigative Journalist was a perfect opportunity for her to combine these two elements.

Many times our students have a pretty clear picture of their strengths and interests, but are unsure how to apply this knowledge as they formulate a career plan. When we provide students with a platform to discuss and explore these concepts more deeply, and offer support and opportunities in which to do so, they are more likely to become invested in the process and develop a career goal that doesn’t just excite them, but actually motivates them to attain it.

To celebrate Music in Our Schools, this month’s MajorClarity lesson plan takes a look at a variety of music-related occupations. It is an opportunity for students to consider all of the ways they can make the most of their interests and their strengths as they plan for the future.