The young are the future. A survey by music-education company Playmatics found that 16- to 19-year-olds, who account for almost half of today’s U.S. guitar teachers (52%) are among the best performers in their age group. But not because they’re more talented than teachers at that age.
Read more: Here are some ways to boost kids’ interest in music
They’re more likely than older teachers to have good grades, and have “significantly more hours of daily experience,” with the median student having an hour and 14 minutes per day devoted to teaching, the researchers write in this week’s issue of The Journal of the Association of Music Education Research. “They have a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” says Andrew Gewirtz, a lead researcher on the study from the University of North Carolina.
“It’s really about their potential abilities,” he says. “There’s really nothing to say that 15-year-olds are less likely than 16- or 19-year-olds to succeed.”
The researchers tracked teacher satisfaction with their jobs and reported on what they found using a survey of more than 700 teachers from across the U.S. That included how many hours a week a teacher teaches, how many days it seems teachers are assigned, which day each class is, and on average how much a teacher earns. The survey results are consistent with what Gewirtz found in a study he conducted of teachers’ job satisfaction in 2008.
For the record, Gewirtz calls his current study the first of its kind to look at teacher characteristics at a variety of ages across the United States.
The researchers found that all three groups rated their working conditions high in the past three years — even when it comes to the quality of the schools they use and the quality of their students. “I don’t think it’s just because the teachers are older, they’re more experienced,” says Gewirtz. “It’s really about their potential abilities, their enthusiasm, their potential and their excitement for the future.”
The results show that the future is still here to watch.
“Our study says you should probably take care of the kids your students are teaching before you consider sending them off to school,” says Gewirtz.
This week’s topic is on a variety of game changes.
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