Books on Teaching Music (mostly)

Teaching is a gateway to entrepreneurship. Teach what you love and you will learn the secret to attracting customers and selling your ideas, products and services.

Courage to Teach (The): Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life – Parker J. Palmer9780787996864_p0_v1_s260x420

As a spiritually inspirational book for teachers, The Courage to Teach is one of the best. The premise is concise and unarguable: good teaching comes from the identity and the integrity of the teacher. Teachers are encouraged to turn their inquiring minds inward–developing a deeper understanding of what it means to fulfill the spiritual calling of teaching. Good teachers share one trait, says author Parker Palmer, they are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students, so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts–the place where intellect and emotion and spirit and will converge in the human self.

Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate about the Benefits of the Arts – Kevin F. McCarthy

gifts-of-the-muse-reframing-AThis study offers a new framework for understanding how the arts create private and public value, highlights the importance of the arts intrinsic benefits and indentifies how both instrumental and instrinsic benefits are created.  There are six extensive chapters covering research and information about topics such as the various benefits achieved from the arts (such as health, economic, social and community), the process of arts participation, problems with current policies and new approaches and recommendations.  This publication is available from Amazon.

How to Make Money Performing in Schools: The Definitive Guide to Developing, Marketing and Presenting School Assembly Programs – David Heflik

d738c060ada0be2e698aa110.LWhile this book is aimed at a fairly small audience, those entertainers seeking work in the educational marketplace will be more than appreciative of the solid material packed into this slim, one-of-a-kind volume. Heflick is refreshingly direct, offering a true insider’s point of view. Discussions include educators’ expectations, the development of suitable programs, promotional materials, fees, presentation techniques, and more. Chapters are succinct, ending with practical summaries. Particularly useful are the samples of confirmation letters, invoices, marketing flyers, and study guides. There is a special section with descriptions of theme programs geared to instrumentalists, actors, dancers, singers, and speakers. School administrators and parent-teacher committees may find this guide useful in assessing the merits of potential performers and planning programs.  The book is available from Amazon.

Making Money Teaching Music – David R. Newsam

making-money-teaching-music-david-r-newsam-paperback-cover-artReaders will discover how rewarding teaching music can be. Whether they teach full time or want to supplement their performance income by giving private lessons, they need this book to learn how to run a profitable business. The authors show them how to find lucrative teaching opportunities, market themselves, design a home studio, manage their time and work schedule, and more.  The book contains ten chapters filled with information and advice, and is available from Amazon.


Music Lesson (The): A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music – Victor L. Wooten

132509755_400x400From Grammy-winning musical icon and legendary bassist Victor L. Wooten comes The Music Lesson, the story of a struggling young musician who wanted music to be his life, and who wanted his life to be great. Then, from nowhere it seemed, a teacher arrived. Part musical genius, part philosopher, part eccentric wise man, the teacher would guide the young musician on a spiritual journey, and teach him that the gifts we get from music mirror those from life, and every movement, phrase, and chord has its own meaning…All you have to do is find the song inside.

Music Teaching Artist’s Bible (The): Becoming a Virtuoso Educator – Eric Booth

41-F4a3DVPLWhen the artist moves into the classroom or community to educate and inspire students and audience members, this is Teaching Artistry. It is a proven means for practicing professional musicians to create a successful career in music, providing not only necessary income but deep and lasting satisfaction through engaging people in learning experiences about the arts. Filled with practical advice on the most critical issues facing the music teaching artist today–from economic and time-management issues of being a musician and teacher to communicating effectively with students–The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible uncovers the essentials that every musician needs in order to thrive in this role. Author Eric Booth offers both inspiration and how-to, step-by-step guidance in this truly comprehensive manual that music teaching artists will turn to again and again. The book also includes critical information on becoming a mentor, succeeding in school environments, partnering with other teaching artists, advocating for music and arts education, and teaching private lessons.

The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible helps practicing and aspiring teaching artists gain the skills they need to build new audiences, improve the presence of music in schools, expand the possibilities of traditional and educational performances, and ultimately make their lives as an artists even more satisfying and fulfilling.

PracticeSpot Guide to Promoting Your Teaching Studio – Philip Johnston

studiopromotionThis book has been described as everything professional music teachers need to know to generate inquiries, fill their studio, and grow their waiting list – helping small studios become big, and big studios become enormous.  Some of the topics covered in this book include hidden benefits of a full studio, setting the right fee, campaign elements (such as the yellow pages, local schools, holding masterclasses, offering discounts for referrals and many others).  This book is available from Amazon, but much more information about it can be found from the website listed below.

Reaching Out: A Musician’s Guide to Interactive Performance – David Wallace

9780073401386_p0_v1_s260x420Connect with and captivate concert audiences as never before with Reaching Out, the groundbreaking new guide to audience engagement and interactive performance for musicians. Author David Wallace shares the techniques he has taught at The Juilliard School and used with orchestras and conservatories around the world for reaching out to any audience regardless of demographics and musical expertise and enriching their concert experience through interaction. Featuring real-life examples, concert transcripts, and an Interactive Concert Checklist, this text gives performing musicians the tools they need to put these techniques to practice and design programs that give their audiences a deeper experience and appreciation of music.  This book is available from Amazon.

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else – Geoff Colvin

One of the most popular Fortune articles in many years was a cover story called “What It Takes to Be Great.”  Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field–from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett and Jack Welch–are not determined by their inborn talents.  Greatness doesn’t come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades.  The key is how you practice, how you analyze the results of your progress and learn from your mistakes, that enables you to achieve greatness.
Colvin has expanded his article with much more scientific background and real-world examples.  He shows that the skills of business—negotiating deals, evaluating financial statements, and all the rest—obey the principles that lead to greatness, so that anyone can get better at them with the right kind of effort.  Even the hardest decisions and interactions can be systematically improved.  This new mind-set, combined with Colvin’s practical advice, will change the way you think about your job and career—and will inspire you to achieve more in all you do.  This book is available from Amazon.

Teaching Music with Passion – Peter Loel Boonshaft

PassionTeaching Music with Passion is a one-of-a-kind, collective masterpiece of thoughts, ideas and suggestions about the noble profession of music education. Both inspirational and instructional, it will surely change the way you teach (and think) about music. Filled with personal experiences, anecdotes and wonderful quotations, this book is an easy-to-read, essential treasure.  This book is available from Amazon.


Teaching Music with Purpose – Peter Loel Boonshaft

31x+PcbMEBL Like his first critically acclaimed international bestseller Teaching Music with Passion, this new book from Peter Boonshaft is even more poignant and powerful. Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Boonshaft’s latest work is both inspirational and instructional and will definitely warm your heart and transform your teaching.


About Lisa Canning

“Vowels are to words what creativity is to the world~ basic and necessary.”

What motivates you to explore your creativity? Follow me @EntretheArts.

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Need a magic creativity wand? Let’s start with the clarinet and see what it inspires you to dream and do.

Lisa Canning is the founder of Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, IAEOU, the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship (IAE) and Entrepreneur the Arts.


Books on Teaching Music (mostly)

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