R – As the school year winds down, goober music teachers likely will as well for a bit (though I have little doubt Jarika and I will be talking shop and getting each other revved up all Summer long), so here is a repost of a letter I came across; a letter I wrote in the MMEA Bulletin 5 years ago. It’s from the heart…
From the President’s Collection Of Disjointed Thoughts…
* You helped her get over her fear of singing in front of her classmates.
* He was accepted to All State for the very first time.
* You saw in him a smile when he found out he could routinely go to the blackboard and give the correct note names – and now he is excited about music.
* You were there for her when she lost a relative.
* She was able to get a music scholarship.
* He was failing most of his classes but you found a way to engage him in Music Theory class and it became his best subject.
* You got every eye to watch you at the concert.
* She sang her first solo in front of an audience.
* He improved to the degree that he could now play 1st Trumpet in the Jazz Band.
* She discovered that playing the recorder was fun.
* You attended your first ever music conference.
* An administrator saw your general music class and couldn’t believe how engaged every student was.
* You made new connections with colleagues in the field.
* He didn’t make the cast, and it tore you up inside to have to make that choice.
* You kicked her out of the musical and taught her – and the cast – a very important lesson.
* You fought tooth and nail with a parent over what they perceived as an injustice… and when you lost the battle, you kept your chin up and kept on working hard.
* Their dad told you at the parent conference that you are all his son and daughter ever talk about – in a good way!
* Your kids gave you a hard time about that day you blatantly screwed up, and you all get a big chuckle over it… and just a little closer as a result.
* An alumni of yours came back to visit a few years after graduating and said “thank you”.
* You attended your 27th music conference.
* The song you didn’t think would come together for the concert did.
* The song you thought would come together for the concert didn’t – and you held your head high just the same.
* Your student teacher grew leaps and bounds in the brief time he worked with you.
* Her attitude changed for the better after that “chat” you had, telling her to get over herself.
* Your schedule for next year is all messed up, and you still care enough to let that bother you.
* You made him laugh on a day he was in a bad mood.
* She learned every scale you assigned and she is becoming one of the best players you’ve had in years.
* He has worked with you for all four years of High School and now wants to become a music teacher. Just like you.
These are just a few of the moments of the 2006-2007 school year for us. If amateur musicians are guilty of too often overlooking the details of the 16th notes, so are music teachers guilty of forgetting or overlooking the details; the most memorable moments of the year gone by. As this school year closes, take the time – make the time – to think back on all those little moments. And then take the time – make the time – to sit back for just a minute or two with pride for the lives you impacted in such an important way.
Have a peaceful and relaxing Summer everyone.