Music Education Job Search Site



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Answer these questions with separate thought processes for elementary, middle school, and high school.
Many thanks to our alumni who have submitted questions!

Questions from an Assistant Principal



What has your involvement been with professional music organizations? How do you see yourself participating in local and national music education organizations as a new teacher? What resources do these organizations provide that have been beneficial to you and your students?


Talk about a lesson you’ve designed that utilized the  Orff, Kodály, or Dalcroze approach to music teaching? What do you think is the most effective philosophy to practice in the elementary music classroom?


Differentiated instruction is an essential in providing high quality music instruction. How would you go about meeting the individual needs of advanced learners and learners with special needs in the music classroom? Please provide an example of how you’ve planned for differentiation in your instruction or an assessment.


Getting to know people in an established learning community can be a challenge. What would you do to become better acquainted with staff members? What type of relationship should the music teacher have with others in the school community?


What role does assessment play in the music classroom? What are some formal and informal ways you would measure student learning in your classroom? How would this influence your instruction?


Suppose you receive a parent phone call regarding their child’s music grade for the marking period, what information would you have to present them to provide evidence for the grade they have earned?


If a student is interfering with the learning of other students in your class, what management plan do you have in place to deal with this situation? What do you do if you are consistently having trouble with the same student?


As an elementary teacher in Simsbury, there is a large choral/band/orchestra component with fifth and sixth grade. What have been your experiences working with large ensembles? What are some components of a high quality choral/band/orchestra rehearsal? What are some your criteria for high quality literature? Who are some of your favorite composers/arrangers for students of this age?


How important is your relationship to parents? What role do parents play in the music program at the elementary level?


The Simsbury music curriculum holds students to a high standard of music learning. There are often times you will find a teacher or a grade level team seeking your help with a class play, or other type of celebration. How would you balance supporting the classroom teacher and accomplishing your goals as a music instructor? 


Students tend to become more excited and talkative during physical activities such as dancing, body percussion, singing games, etc.  How do you set the climate and management of the classroom so that the students can enjoy these activities, but you can still manage the classroom effectively and the classroom remains a safe place?


Working well with others is an important part of being a teacher.  As a music teacher, not only are you part of a team of essentialists but also a community builder among all staff. What are some ways you would contribute to building the community in your school?


Music teaching is steeped in different philosophies and approaches to music making.  Do you think these differences can lead to conflict among a collaborative team? How would you convince someone to try your way if you thought you had a really good strategy? 


If you had to co-conduct a choral/band/orchestra concert, how would you go about choosing repertoire with another teacher?  What role would you play in teaching in the music during class?  In rehearsals and the final concert?


Are you comfortable with your piano skills in leading large groups of students in singing assemblies?


Even though professional development opportunities are available to you at the district level, what are some ways you would seek professional development outside of the Simsbury Schools?


Suppose I had a child in your music class. If I asked my son/daughter to tell me about their music teacher, how would they describe you?


Talk about a time you have had great success collaborating with a colleague and a time you have had conflict with a colleague. How did you remedy the conflict? What do you believe are the key components to successful collaboration?




What do you think went well in the lesson?  What do you think could have been improved? What is something that happened that you didn’t plan for?


Planning for misconceptions is a true challenge. What did you plan for in this lesson as being a challenging learning component for students? How did you plan to work through misconceptions or misunderstandings?


Can you give an example of how you assessed in this lesson? How did the information you gathered in regards to student performance impact the instruction you provided?


How does music instruction support the college and career readiness standards of the Common Core?  How do you see music teachers supporting the language arts standards without sacrificing content curriculum?






Additional General Teaching Interview Questions


1. Describe a typical lesson plan that works will for you.
2. Tell us about a time when one of your lessons ran short or when you ran out of time. How did you handle this?
3. What are good techniques for beginning and ending your class?

Classroom Management and Discipline

1. Describe rules, consequences, and rewards that work for students in high school.
2. Tell us about a time when a student confronted you or attempted to break school classroom rules. How did you handle this?
3. Describe the physical arrangement of your classroom. If one of us were to walk in, what might we see that helps keep students organized?

Homework, Grading and Assessment

  1. How do you assess student learning informally without grading?
  2. Talk about your familiarity with the Michigan Merit Curriculum/High School Graduation Requirements and the High School Content Expectations (HSCE's).

Communication with Parents and Others

  1. Describe a positive way to communicate with parents that you have used in the past.
  2. Describe a parent meeting that you have conducted and the results from it.
  3. Tell us about a time when you co-taught a class or planned an activity with a colleague.

Professional Growth

  1. What have you read or studied recently that led to a change in your teaching?
  2. What parts of your teacher education program/professional development experiences do you most often use?
  3. Describe what you learned in the past from a cooperating teacher or mentor teacher.


1. Why should we select you, over the other candidates we are considering for this position?
2. Do you have any questions for us?
3. If you happen to be our candidate of choice, are you willing to do "whatever it takes" to help our students be successful?

Happy job hunting and good luck!

Page last modified January 9, 2018