Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Worth of a Music Teacher

Last week was a crazy week.

It was the week of our holiday performances at school.

Now, those of you who have been involved in any kind of holiday performance can probably understand just how busy this time of year can get.  Not only is there the holiday performance (many times, multiple performances), but all of the extra rehearsals you have in order to prepare for it.

Now, imagine being the director of the performance.  The workload just multiplies when you're actually in charge of pulling the whole thing off.  You're not just responsible for one part.  You're responsible for all parts.  And if something goes wrong, it's your fault, no matter what.

I'm very lucky to work with another talented music teacher, so we are able to tag team and help each other.  This year, she worked with the lines primarily and I focused on the music.

We did not have the luxury of being exempt from our normal classes while we were directing the musical.  Which meant, I was technically in charge of a group of students both sitting behind me and performing in front of me on the stage.  It was a good time to use the "eyes in the back of my head" that all teachers claim to have.  I don't know what I would have done if one of my out of sight students had done something wrong.  I suppose I would have had to stop the show, correct the student and move on from there.

Anyway, last week in the middle of all the chaos and madness and glitter and tinsel, I thought to myself, "Do people ever really see the worth of a music teacher?" I mean, we live in a country whose education is so regimented, the powers that be see more merit in removing the arts to make room for more math.  But does anyone really notice the magic that happens when a music teacher takes a bunch of rowdy kids, puts them in a small room together and teaches them to channel their endless energy into a beautiful melody?

Maybe it's something you've never thought about before, but so many countless, thankless hours go into a holiday production, and the music teacher doesn't even get the credit.  That goes to the stage performers who shine bright because of their solos or funny lines.

If you attend any musical performances this holiday, will you do me a favor?  Take a minute and see if you can locate the director of the show.  Watch him or her for a moment during the performance and you're likely to catch a person making magic.  Injecting energy and spirit into each and every line of a song that someone else performs.  Bonus points if you thank the music teacher who allows your loved ones to shine so bright on that stage!

Happy Holidays!

( Here are some of my holiday elves and reindeer getting ready for their 4th performance of our show in 48 hours!  No wonder they look tired!)

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