We are over the moon that Georgia agreed to be featured on our site. She’s a talented musician with years of experience under her young adult belt. We’re impressed not only by her talent but also her discipline since she’s successfully nearing the end of a strenuous, take-no-prisoners university program that will help launch her into the professional world of music education. We’re honored to know her, very proud of her accomplishments, excited about all the possibilities for her future, and thrilled to introduce her to you.
Salt Lick Lessons (SLL): Tell us about your creative, musical life.
Georgia Muggli (GM): I don’t remember a time when I was not doing music! I started formal piano lessons when I was five, and picked up the double bass just before high school. Now I’m in my senior year as a music education major at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. I love playing, learning, and surrounding myself with music, but my main passion is teaching it! My end goal for now is to be an orchestra teacher, and be able to share my love for this music with my students.
SLL: What is the most creative part about teaching music?
GM: Just about anyone who picks up a musical instrument finds a creative release in it. I find that same source of creativity in teaching. There is so much beauty in working with humans – no two are exactly alike, and the same method is not going to work for every student. I am in it for that light bulb moment; there is nothing like watching a student “get it” after you’ve struggled through the process together.
SLL: What are the biggest challenges you face?
GM: Time is my biggest struggle – on so many levels! We talk about time a lot in my music education classes, because especially with issues like budget cuts that impact art instruction time, music teachers have very little with their students, and every minute becomes precious. Personally, I am also the worst procrastinator I have met, so I am constantly battling myself on that. It is hard to do your best when you are pressed for time, and it doesn’t help when I compound my problems by procrastinating!
SLL: What is the most rewarding part about teaching music?
GM: The coolest part of teaching music is definitely watching young people change before your eyes. Whether it’s getting a new high note to sound for the first time or falling in love with a piece of music, kids are always changing, and it is so rewarding to know that I’ll have a part in that, no matter how small.
GM: I’m not sure I ever had a single “Aha” moment. I have a soul that thrives on teaching and helping others, and as I got better and better at music, I think I kind of just always assumed that I’d teach music! Every experience I’ve had since beginning to study music teaching has just served to further affirm that.
SLL: How do you stay motivated to keep working and challenging yourself?
GM: In an introductory music education meeting the week before my freshman year of college, I picked up my motto: “If work it must be, then work it must be.” I printed that out and put it on my bulletin board over my desk. There have been times that I’ve looked at that at 3 in the morning when I was struggling to complete an assignment and could hardly see the value in trying anymore. But the end result of every tedious theory assignment is that it will ultimately make me a better teacher for my future students. The reward in that has become intrinsic to me, and it has powered me through some really tough times academically.
GM: There’s a running joke in music schools that by the time you graduate, you’ll never enjoy classical music again. I know that I teeter on the verge of burnout occasionally, especially on my primary instrument, bass. I have become adept at taking a break from the work aspect when I need to, but I also am careful to leave myself some creative outlets that I’ll never turn into work. I picked up ukulele a couple summers ago, and when I am feeling stressed and done with music, I’ll grab my uke and sing Christmas carols or terrible pop songs. I don’t have a set practice schedule, and I never really sound very good, but man do I enjoy it!
SLL: What’s your next big thing?
GM: It’ll be one of two things: either transitioning from the student role to the full time teacher role, or grad school! The upcoming year is as unclear as any year has ever been for me, and it’s exciting!
Thank you for reading and learning about Georgia, a wonderful new music educator. Follow up: Before graduation, Georgia secured a teaching position at her former high school and middle school teaching band and orchestra.