Sunday, December 17, 2017

Reflections of a Former Music Teacher

This is my first year not in the classroom, teaching music. And while I don't like calling myself a "former" music teacher (I still teach it in different ways), I do have some reflections (more personal than instructional) that have come out of not being immersed in it all day, every day this year!

1. I miss teaching, but I also just really miss MUSIC. I miss those magical moments where everyone hits the downbeat together or the whole section finally plays an F-natural (with no stray F-sharps in there) or where the crescendo builds and you can feel the energy and excitement travel throughout the group. And even that moment where a beginner figures out how to play "Hot Cross Buns" for the first time and they are beaming with pride, because they can play a song! There is something so special and unique about the music classroom.

2. Concert season makes me miss it even more. No matter how exhausting and stressful it is preparing for a concert, it's also exciting and fun! To see hundreds of students getting dressed up and sharing their gift with hundreds more in the audience, to know how big of a deal it is to them...that's a gratifying feeling. I have missed that nervous excitement and energy, especially as December has come around.

3. While I am not teaching in the classroom, I have actually been playing more myself this year. Whether it's playing piano at home or playing violin on worship team at church or sitting in with a blues band for our IT holiday party (blues fiddle?), I've enjoyed the challenge to stretch my own musicianship and get back into performing a bit. I never felt like I had the energy to do this when I was teaching, but now, I am craving it!

Music teachers: You have an amazing job. 

I know it's exhausting, and I know the never-ending stream of equipment can get to you. Not to mention the feeling that some people, whether it's administrators, fellow teachers, or parents, don't take your class seriously because "it's just music". Let me tell's not "just" music, it's magic. It's special. Enjoy it!

[And know that I'm cheering you on as you finish up the last of these concerts!]

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