This is probably the most common question I get right now. I even got it from my dear wife yesterday over dinner. The answer is: Yes, really!
Theres an impulse to say Come on Dave, you just want to do Choir. Math is just a safe fallback because its in demand, right? Or on the other hand to say Come on Dave, you are going to end up solely teaching Math, right? In either case, theres an implication that one cant really manage to get a job teaching both subjects. Well heres the crazy part: I think I can.
So whats the plan? Ill be looking for either a large school with enough need for 1.5 choir teachers or a small rural school with only enough money for .5 choir teachers. A worst-case scenario might be a full-time math position with an understanding that Id be able to run one of the non-credit extracurricular choirs (i.e. Madrigal Singers). Thats pretty sweet, as far as worst-cases go.
But more important than the practical questions are the personal ones. Im simply passionate about both subjects.
My bachelors degree is in Math; as a programmer I have naturally maintained a strong affinity for pure abstraction and well-ordered thinking. Furthermore, Im married to a PhD in Mathematics who is a fantastic teacher herself, if I can permit my inner cheerleader to emerge. Becoming a high-school math teacher would mean Id finally be doing something about all those times I got up on a soapbox to lament the poor state of math education in the U.S. Not to mention my wife and I would be professional colleaguesable to assist each other with advice, experience, and maybe even lesson plans.
As for Music, Ive been in choirsgood onesalmost non-stop since the fourth grade. A good helping of directing and performing in musical theater, a dash of piano lessons, and you get me, the consummate amateur. And theres the rub. Sure, I could get my math certification in only 1.5 years, be teaching in 2011 instead of 2012. I could do this and even potentially get a job as a church choir director or start some small community group with nothing but experience and chutzpah. But what I want is to become a professional. When Im done with this process I will essentially have the equivalent of an undergrad music degree. I dont think Id forgive myself if I let the chance to do this pass me by.
Besides, whats another year? Not much, really.