My Musical Inspiration…

Not to get too mushy or maudlin, but I just returned from the CASMEC conference in San Jose and I’m currently overflowing with inspiration.  So, what could be inspiring about standing at a booth all day in the exhibit hall?  Plain and simple, it’s just you…the band, orchestra, and choir teacher.

“I’m just here to learn something I didn’t know before,” one longtime choral director shared with us.  After 30 years of teaching music, he hasn’t lost the desire to learn something new.

“Two of my students earned spots in All-State ensembles, but the district wouldn’t help with their expenses to get here.  So, I funded them myself on the “easy payment plan.”  And I’m their teacher – someone should care enough to come support them.”  This is from someone who clearly sees her career as a calling, not just a paycheck.

“I inherited a ‘winning’ program and my students are bent on winning.  But I’m concerned that this is what they think music is all about.  I’m more interested in teaching them about all aspects of music and challenging them, not just promoting trophy hunts.”

“I ask myself ‘what am I doing here?’-  I want to teach music that appreciates and speaks to my students’ culture.  Most of my students won’t go on to be music majors, but teaching music is about more than just music.” 

“My students never get a chance to leave our town.  I want to show them that there is a great big world out there and they should open their minds to it.”

After twenty-plus years, the stories never end. I’m touched by the thoughtful questions many of you ask of yourselves – how can I do this better?  How can I serve my students? Is it any wonder that we feel motivated to partner with the hardest working teachers on school campuses?

May I simply say – music matters!   And what you, a music teacher, do also matters.  It matters a great deal.