Try on Teaching with MSOE

Cultivating and Developing the Next Generation of Excellent Secondary Music Teachers

We believe that the best way to train music teachers is to provide authentic teaching opportunities while engaging in a community of reflective practitioners. Additionally, we believe in creating a space for the discussion and application of many contemporary approaches relevant to music education while remaining informed by the excellent traditions that have made music education strong in America over the last two centuries. As community of passionate, well-prepared teachers, Trying-on-Teaching serves to grow the next generation of great music educators to serve students in our public schools.

As human beings continually developing in a complex world, music can provide a means for us to understand who we are, where we've been, and where we're going. Oriented toward a social justice mission, Trying-on-Teaching aims to cultivate an artistic disposition by enabling young adults to develop an understanding of how the creation, interpretation, and performance of music can reflect the world around them. In its inaugural year, the Trying-on-Teaching program saw over one hundred middle school participants from schools within a fifty mile radius of CSU. Trying-on-Teaching involves all levels of music lovers from our local community; participants and artist-teachers from middle schools, high schools, CSU, local public schools and even retired teachers come together to learn and teach each other about music.

Over a period of 13 weeks, all participants are involved in teaching local middle school students who are members of the MSOE instrumental ensembles. With the assistance of master teachers, undergraduate and graduate music education students design, implement, and teach all aspects of the program culminating in a formal concert for parents, friends, and community members.


  • 100 local middle school band students
  • 12 high school students (novice teachers)
  • Graduate music education majors (developing teachers)
  • 25 undergraduate music education majors (apprentice teachers)
  • Practicing public school teachers (master teachers)
  • Retired teachers and local middle school teachers
  • 1 music education faculty supervisor
  • Foster excellence in music education.
  • Identify and recruit outstanding high school students interested in music education.
  • Provide CSU preservice music education students an authentic teacher preparation context.
  • Provide a low-cost musical experience for local middle school band students.
  • Provide a safe and supported space where individuals with varying levels of music teaching experience can practice and hone the art of authentic instrumental music teaching.
  • Foster mentoring relationships between undergraduate students, graduate students, and secondary public school music teachers to strengthen teacher identity, commitment to teaching, and teaching effectiveness.
  • Provide a vehicle for organizing community outreach to local public school music students and teachers.
2018 Schedule

2018 Schedule

Jan. 17 and Jan. 20 - planning and run-through.

Wednesday Rehearsals, 6 – 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, April 7, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Final Concert
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sound Check: 4 p.m.
Concert: 7 p.m.

Middle School Outreach Ensembles


Ask your instructor about being nominated for the program or email Dr. Johnson.


Erik Johnson

Associate Professor of Music Education (Instrumental)

(970) 491-4806