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5 Tips on Using Music as a Mentorship Tool

By ETM Staff

January is National Mentoring Month, which got us thinking: How can music be used as a mentoring tool to help support students? 

Here’s are our Musical Mentoring tips:

Music Mentorship Tip #1
Get to know your mentee by asking them what their five favorite songs are. Listen together and talk about them! 

From a Musical Mentor: “I think it’s so important right off the bat to make that connection with your students. The more you understand about the person you are mentoring, the floodgates of communication will be open and you’ll form a deeper connection allowing you to be there on a larger capacity.” – Jennifer Williams, Education Through Music 

Music Mentorship Tip #2
Ask your mentee to share a song that inspires them and use that song as a motivational tool when working through a challenging moment or material. 

From a Musical Mentor: “For me, being a mentor provides the opportunity to help others celebrate their strengths, share insight and collaborate for growth.” – Naomi Fernandez, Education Through Music

Music Mentorship Tip #3
Is your mentee nervous about performing in front of an audience? Set up a mock concert using friends, family, or even stuffed animals as audience members to help them overcome any anxiety they may be experiencing. 

From a Musical Mentor: “In my opinion, the only way to conquer stage fright is to get up on stage and play. Every time you play another show, it gets better and better.” – Taylor Swift, Musician 

Music Mentorship Tip #4
Be present! Attend your mentee’s concerts and performances, and consider showing up for soccer games, the science fair, or any other events happening in their life, even if it isn’t strictly musical. 

From a Musical Mentor: “My most successful students have been ones that I have formed real bonds with. I try to see as many of their school concerts as possible because I know how much it means to them, and it is an opportunity to see who they are outside of our relationship.” – Katherine Freedman, Education Through Music

Music Mentorship Tip #5
It’s OK to make a mistake. Remind your mentee that  squeaks, broken reeds, and voice cracks are all opportunities for creativity and growth. Celebrate when things “go wrong.” 

From a Musical Mentor: “In music, as in life, there are no mistakes in music.” – Miles Davis, Musician