Carey Bland


Carey Bland

School & School System Where You Work

Dr. Hubert Eaton Sr. Elementary School, New Hanover County Schools

Number of Years Teaching


Teaching Area(s)


Grade Level


What do you love most about teaching music?

Success in music class is a powerful confidence builder! What I love most is watching students learn new skills and become confident in their musicianship. Their confidence radiates in the music room and everywhere they go!

Who inspired you to be a music educator and how did they inspire you?

There are two people to mention here.

My mother was a school teacher before becoming a stay at home mom / homeschool teacher to myself and my six siblings. I always wanted to be like her, so I decided I’d be a teacher too.

Next I had to decide what to teach! My piano teacher was an absolute rockstar and constantly pushed me to grow as a musician. Because of her music was my favorite subject.

Music education just made sense!

What did you need the most when you started teaching?

Behavior management was a challenge in the beginning. I needed advice and support from other teachers in my school and veteran music teachers in the area. If you have this challenge, ask for help!

Describe the biggest challenge to teaching music education and how you have worked to overcome this challenge?

There are the Essential Standards, there are things I like teaching, and there are things students like learning. Finding the sweet spot where those three things intersect has been my biggest challenge!

The way I overcame this is also mentioned in response to another question. “Get to know your students!” They’ll get to know you too in the process. Be sensitive to how they respond in music activities and adjust accordingly. Over time you can build a program that you love teaching and students love learning!

How do you advocate for your program?

Networking within your district is crucial. You need to know what’s going on in the schools around you in order to properly advocate for yourself and your students.

I keep frequent contact with my school administration, school staff, PTA, and district arts coordinator. It’s important for them to know what’s going on in the music program. They are always willing to help when there truly is a need!

What is one piece of advice you would give to beginning teachers?

Focus on building relationships with your students early on. Learn ALL their names and get to know them!