Tune Up Your Teaching – The Hottest Summer PD Trends for Music Educators

Elisa Janson Jones • CommentaryJune 2024 • June 9, 2024

As the summer sun rises high in the sky, it’s not just the temperature that’s heating up for music educators—it’s also the opportunities for professional development (PD) that are hitting a crescendo. Whether you’re looking to fine-tune your teaching skills, explore new methodologies, or connect with like-minded professionals, there’s a selection of options awaiting you. As an expert in continuing learning, here are some of my recommendations for how you should spend your time honing your skill this summer. Let’s dive into the key trends shaping PD for music educators this summer.

In-Person Immersion There’s something magical about immersing yourself in a learning environment surrounded by fellow music enthusiasts. Yamaha’s Summer Symposium, Conn Selmer’s regional events, and the Modern Band Summit (by Music Will) offer just that. These events promise outstanding educational opportunities in immersive settings, where you can hone your craft, exchange ideas, and be inspired by leading experts in the field. From masterclasses to hands-on workshops, these symposiums provide an enriching experience that will resonate long after the final note. Ideally, you should follow a specific ‘track’ if offered and opt for workshops that provide you with evaluation and collaboration, since those are the ones most likely to create lasting improvement

Online PD through Course Providers In today’s digital age, the world of professional development is at your fingertips. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge base, consider exploring online courses through platforms like Udemy and Coursera. Whether you’re interested in refining your instrumental skills or delving into topics beyond music theory, there’s a wealth of structured, self-paced courses available to cater to your interests. Think outside the “music” box and consider courses in business skills like fundraising, marketing, or accounting—essential skills for any music educator navigating the complexities of today’s educational landscape. Want to brush up on your instrumental skills? MusicProfessor.com is your go-to for refreshing your instrument pedagogy.

Mentorship for PD They say that to teach is to touch a life forever, but sometimes, it’s the guidance of a mentor that truly ignites the flame of inspiration. Enter the Music Teacher Guild, a new organization revolutionizing mentorship for music educators. Through their online mentorship/coaching/clinician marketplace, you can connect with experts from around the globe for personalized 1:1 appointments or join small group coaching classes. Whether you’re seeking advice on classroom management, curriculum development, or career advancement, mentorship offers a priceless opportunity for growth and reflection.

Embrace the PLC: Professional Learning Community In the age of social media, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the noise of online platforms. That’s why the Music Teacher Guild has created a professional learning community designed specifically for music educators. Imagine all the benefits of Facebook—without Facebook. This trusted and intentional community provides a space for collaboration, support, and skill-building among like-minded professionals. Through meaningful interactions and shared experiences, you can elevate your teaching practice and contribute to the collective harmony of the music education community. Join the Music Teacher Guild Commons 

The landscape of professional development for music educators is rich with possibilities. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in an in-person symposium, embark on a virtual learning journey, seek guidance from a mentor, or join a professional learning community, the key is to embrace opportunities for growth and connection. As you embark on your PD journey this summer, may you find inspiration in the melodies of learning and the harmony of collaboration.


The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!