Spotlight on Eric Romero, Music Teacher
"You get to see them try new things and learn how the world of music works. They create with what you give them and getting to see this firsthand is nothing short of awesome."
Why do you teach music?
It’s a very personal matter to me that goes back to when I was first introduced to playing music. In middle school, I was put into a band program with a teacher who really showed her passion for teaching. I didn’t think much of it then but, I always go back to this teacher when people ask me about why I love music. She was very enthusiastic about concerts and really pushed us to do more than what we thought we could do.
I was lucky because I had many teachers that I can say beyond a doubt did their best to teach and did it with a genuine smile. That was something I wanted to emulate, and I knew it was going to be through music. So mixing both the love of music and getting to teach was the best option for me. My hope is to share what I love with the next generation with the hopes it inspires them to pursue their own passions… and learn a thing or two about music along the way.
Why is music education so important for every child?
Music is a perfect tool that allows you to discover the world from a different perspective. With music education, you can take a song and analyze what makes it work. The students start to develop an understanding of why something sounds good to them. After you teach them a concept, you get to do the best part, which is creation. They get to take what they learn in the classroom and see how to create something new. It’s so cool to see them think outside the box.
What attracted you to pursue the ETM-LA Music Teacher Intern Program?
I had always wanted to pursue a teaching career, but many factors led me in a different direction in life. So I thought maybe the closest I can help in the field was just through volunteering with ETM-LA. I had gotten to know the people at ETM-LA very well and shared my dream. It was Victoria Lanier who had given me a second chance at teaching music. She knew my story and let me know about the Music Teacher Intern Program. I was very lucky that I had everything just fall into place at the perfect time to actually pursue this opportunity. It really was like a call to action.
What do you feel are some of the biggest takeaways from your experience as a music teacher intern, and how does it carry into your role as the music teacher now?
ALWAYS BE YOURSELF! You get to see some experienced teachers in action and one thing you notice right away is that they bring themselves into the classroom. That may be the biggest thing that I took away from this internship, I make sure to always share how I see it rather than just following a set of instructions. Another thing that I have to point out is how much time you actually spend listening and learning from your students. My students taught me how you should always be on the lookout for their input so you can see how they are taking in what you are teaching.
What was the most challenging part of your music teacher intern experience?
Something that I did feel was a challenge was knowing how to smoothly conduct the flow of a music lesson. There’s only so much you can do before they have to put into practice what you just taught. The classroom is a safe place for your students to practice what they just learned, so it’s okay if they may not get it right on the first try. It’s important to know what you can do as a teacher to help them get to that “AHA” moment, and it’s not entirely universal. What may work with one classroom may not not work for the next. So getting to know them and adjusting on the fly is something that I see takes awhile to master.
What is the best part of being a music teacher?
Hands down the best part is getting to know your students. Nothing is cooler than getting to share with each other what you enjoy. People connect with music, and it’s no different here. You get to see them try new things and learn how the world of music works. They create with what you give them and getting to see this firsthand is nothing short of awesome. I have worked in other fields before and can confirm that I don’t think anything compares to when you see students grow and learn, and become amazing people in the process.