Summer Reading: 3 Compelling Books for the Music Teacher

June 11, 2015 Tori Cook

So you want to be a music major book

Hang in therethe school year is almost over! As summer quickly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about all the things you’re going to check off of your to-do list. Maybe those things include a nice long massage, hanging in the park with your family or even putting together next year’s lesson plans (you know who you are).

But if you’re planning to do some summer reading, we have a few suggestions for you. These three books are compelling, easy-to-read and cover a lot of ground. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

So You Want to be a Music Major: A Guide for High School Students, Their Parents, Guidance Counselors, and Music Teachers

Author: Robert Franzblau

This book is perfect for your high school students who are considering becoming music majors in college. It covers a variety of topics from how parents can encourage their child’s musical undertakings, to the necessary music theory knowledge students should have before heading to college to tips for staying motivated.

Franzblau offers some convincing reasons to become a music major but also reasons not to become one, which helps students make an informed, realistic decision about whether they will be able to handle the challenges faced while working in this competitive profession.

An inspiring read and highly recommended by the Encore staff!

The Music Teacher’s First Year

Author: Elizabeth Peterson

An essential read for first-year teachers or anyone considering teaching choir, band, orchestra or general music. Each chapter focuses on the experience of real music teachers and is followed up with discussion topics ranging from questions like “How can you better prepare yourself?” or “What might you do differently as an instructor?”.

This is such a handy book; we are surprised more colleges aren’t using it as a textbook for music education majors! While it primarily focuses on the middle/high school levels, some statements ring true even for those of us who teach adults (like me!) – particularly the chapter on “to be liked or respected”.

When the Fat Lady Sings – Opera History as it Ought to Be Taught

Author: David W. Barber

When I was enrolled in an opera repertoire course, I found my textbook to be incredibly dull and hard to get through. So, I went online to find a quick, easy summary of opera history as a precursor to the textbook and boy, did I luck out! I found this gem on Amazon and it did not disappoint. Filled with hilarious caricatures and clever writing, it’s a simple introduction to opera for any age level.

While it would never substitute an actual opera curriculum or be a sufficient textbook, its lighthearted approach makes reading about opera a joy! If you are trying to incorporate some opera history into your classes, this book is the perfect week assignment for your students as it only takes an hour or two to read.

How to Purchase

Now that you’re entirely convinced on reading these books, we hope that you will consider purchasing them on Amazon Smile. For those of you that don’t know, Amazon Smile works the same way as Amazon, the same prices and products, but they donate a percentage of your purchase to a non-profit of your choice! All you have to do is go to and choose which charity to benefit.

They have thousands of non-profits to choose from; however, if you need help deciding, here are some options you could consider:

Happy reading!

The post Summer Reading: 3 Compelling Books for the Music Teacher appeared first on Backstage at Encore Tours.


About the Author

Tori Cook

Having grown up in a military family, Tori traveled the world at a young age and has visited over 25 countries to date. She is the former Director of Marketing and Business Development at Encore Tours and her passion for travel is matched only by her love of music. She holds bachelor degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Theory and currently performs with Chorus pro Musica in the Boston area. She also directs the Harborlight Show Chorus, a small barbershop chorus in the North Shore.

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