Many people have asked me over the years how I went from being a music teacher to a grant writer. I think there are two key components which made this a very natural transition for me.
- My liberal arts music education degree emphasized quality no matter what our major. We were prepared to defend our program with research, explain how our teaching was tied to standards, and prepare and defend a budget which aligned to what we were teaching. Making a logical argument to defend a quality program is not that different from convincing a funder a program is worth funding.
- I began my teaching career in two low-income school districts, one rural and one urban. I started writing grants for my urban classroom. My grants used activities and assessments aligned to national standards. Here I was trying to provide the same kind of experiences I had seen in the suburban districts where I had done student teaching, like using technology in classrooms, and greater performing experiences for students. My experience in both districts increased my understanding of students who did not have the same background knowledge and families who had to choose between rent and food. Private music lessons and concerts were not an option.