Before launching ESM Inbound, I kept a blog called Teacher & Musician. Starting life as a side project to my classroom work, it became a core part of my first year after leaving teaching.
As ESM Inbound grew and my professional life focussed on growing a business, Teacher & Musician fell by the wayside. It no longer aligned with my professional world and I didn’t have much to say about music education (or, when I did, I felt my credibility was stretched by my distance from the sector).
With a whimper in January 2016, I published what would be my last blog post on the site.
Watch the video version of this blog post.
What I noticed when watching music education from afar
At the start of 2022, ESM Inbound is a thriving business with 26 people doing fabulous work. In the six years of running this business, I’ve watched the world of music education from afar as an interested former practitioner. I’ve read about model curricula and seen old debates reignite. But I’ve noticed that blogging appears to have become less common than when I was in the classroom.
I used to get so much value from blog posts from a range of teachers and musicians from across the globe. I even wrote a blog post summarising the writers I found most useful.
At the end of 2021, I took a moment to look around the music education blogosphere and I noticed that music education bloggers were doing so sporadically and on sites that significantly limited the number of people who would read the content.
It seems a shame to have all that knowledge and experience published in places it’s unlikely to be found.
Why I’m gifting Teacher & Musician to the music education community
Getting people found online is one of our core strengths at ESM Inbound, so I felt I could help. I just needed a way to do so that wouldn’t eat up the very limited amount of time I have.
And then it struck me. I was sitting on a website focussed on music education that still receives a few thousand visits each month. Not enough to write home about but enough traffic to give other people a little more exposure. I wasn’t using it but that shouldn’t stop the music education community from getting a little benefit.
What you can do as a writer for Teacher & Musician
With the benefit of a little free time over Christmas, I’ve made a few small tweaks to Teacher & Musician so that anyone can publish blog posts on the site.
There’s now a form where you can register to become a writer and receive your own username/password where you can publish blog posts that will be listed on the Teacher & Musician homepage and have them automatically publish on the Twitter and Facebook pages. It’s an instant audience for your music education content and you don’t have to worry about how frequently you post – there will be a community of people to do that for you.
You’ll notice that there’s a page welcoming advertisers to place ads on the site. I’ve done this for two reasons. First, I’m hoping that it will raise enough cash to cover the fees related to the web hosting, CRM and middleware software powering the site. Second, by having a clear space for advertisers it enables a policy that blog posts should be from the education community and not from businesses looking to write press releases disguised as blog posts.
The future for Teacher & Musician
At this time, the features are fairly limited. It’s very much a vanilla WordPress installation that I was able to configure without deploying ESM Inbound’s designers and developers to build something genuinely custom.
If we reach the point where we have twenty contributors, then I’ll happy divert some resources to expand the capabilities of the website. I’m thinking that we could look at providing you with analytics data, additional content controls and access to a ‘teacherandmusician.com’ branded email address.
I’m also open to a discussion with music education organisations who might be interested in taking custody of Teacher & Musician, putting their resources and up-to-date pedagogical and sector-specific knowledge into looking after the website. If Music Mark, ISM or another organisation is interested in a discussion about taking editorial ownership of this community, then please fill in this form to send me a message so we can arrange a conversation.
For now, however, if you would like an audience for your content and you don’t want the hassle of creating your own website, then this is an easy way to get blogging about music education.