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A great music teacher is a rare beast these days, especially in the United States, where most schools are driven by an “accountability” mentality and lack of funding for arts education. In many cases, all they care about is teaching math, science, English, history, or whatever other subjects they can find on their standardized test, and not much more. This leaves many talented teachers to fend for themselves when trying to get ahead in their careers because there aren’t many jobs that require a four-year degree in music. Here are the essential qualities every great music teacher should have:

1. Creative Explanations

A great music teacher will always be creative with their explanations. Teachers who genuinely understand how the human brain works know that students learn best through experiences rather than explanations alone. They also know that the best ways to educate children are through activities and fun. When explaining something to a child, no matter how trivial it may seem, they need to have that little spark of excitement in their voice that makes them want to learn. It doesn’t take long before those sparkles become genuine enthusiasm and interest in what they share with them, if only for a moment.

2. Problem Spotting and Solving

At some point during their career, every teacher realizes that sometimes life throws obstacles to learning and understanding. A great music teacher will be able to recognize these obstacles as soon as they arise, so they have time to fix the problem and keep moving forward. One good thing about being a band director is that they can spot issues quickly and solve them without skipping any steps along the way.

3. Making Lessons Fun

The greatest lesson one learns from being in school is that learning isn’t just confined to academic studies. They can learn a lot outside of the classroom too! Having fun while learning is a must for kids, as well. As instructors, they get to share the joy of making music with their students. If they haven’t taken up the guitar lately, pick it back up. There is nothing like having the right song playing in the background when they teach to bring the lesson alive.

4. Positive Attitude

Being positive is vital to inspiring others. Students respect somebody they believe will help guide them towards a promising future. Even though we’re talking about music lessons here, a positive attitude towards everything they do is beneficial to everyone involved. When someone walks through their office doors, they feel welcomed, and a sense of assurance comes across that they are genuinely interested in helping them reach their goals. Nothing is worse for a teacher than walking into the room knowing nobody wants to listen to them talk about anything. The same goes for students. No one likes feeling like they don’t belong somewhere.

The above list of things every great music teacher needs to succeed shows how important they are. Without each of these characteristics, they won’t have a chance of becoming a successful musician or educator.