Michael Burrage


Michael Burrage

School & School System Where You Work

St. Pauls High School, Robeson Schools

Number of Years Teaching


Teaching Area(s)

Band & Chorus

Grade Level

High School

What do you love most about teaching music?

I love the impact that teaching music has on students from various ethnicities, backgrounds, cultures, and demographics. The impact lasts a lifetime.

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

Many bandmasters inspired me to become a music educator. Men and women such as Mr. Julius Hunt, retired band director Moss Point, MS; Mr. Otis P. Carter III, retired band director Moss Point, MS; Mr. Frank T. Greer, band director emeritus Tennessee State University; Dr. Franko Goldman; Dr. Nathan Street; and Dr. Becky Morrison. These men and woman exemplified excellence in purpose and calling of music and I wanted to do that!

What did you need the most when you started teaching?

Guidance. Most things a student will learn during their matriculation and possible student teaching experience; however, there are things of the profession that require ongoing guidance.

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

The biggest challenge to teaching music is retention. I’ve diligently strived to create a learning environment that is both conducive to learning, rigorous, and impactful to the students for ongoing growth.

How do you advocate for your program?

I advocate by reaching out to local educational boards and creating a voice at local and district meetings when I’m allotted time. I also attended various workshops within the state.

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

Have a focus. There are areas of music education that should yield relevance just as much as teaching itself. Areas such as pedological approaches, curriculum evolving developments and design, instrumental maintenance, financial fundraising, community outreach, and practical methods that suit your teaching style that are just as important as teaching music.

How do you build relationships with students and parents?

I contact parents either by phone or email regularly. I attend school functions beyond music and interact with parents and students to let them understand that I am not only a music educator but a citizen just as they are. I also, send a newsletter to students and parents weekly.