A Day In The Life

Performanced OutAs of Monday, May 22, at approxima…
May 19, 2006, 12:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Performanced Out
As of Monday, May 22, at approximately 1:30PM, the final performance of this school years’ spring performance season will be over. This means that in slightly less than one month, my students and I will have presented 10 choral programs. I have a total of seven performing groups: the Bearcat Chorus ( 51 members grades 9-12), the Bearkitten Singers ( 55 students grades 6-8), the Spotlight Singers ( 12 members grades 9-12), Sweet Harmony ( 9 members grades 9-12), Third Grade Harmony Stars ( 30 members ), Fourth Grade Harmony Stars (30 members) and Fifth Grade Harmony Stars ( 30 members). If I did the math correctly, that adds up to 196 performers. In addition to various programs presented by the choirs, I also planned, rehearsed and presented a fourth grade musical which involved approximately 150 students. Needless to say, with eight performances completed and two more still to go, I am tired.

Tired or not , I am already busy looking at music and planning for the next school years’ fall and spring performance seasons. This is one thing I love about teaching choral music. I have a constantly changing, dynamic curriculum. There is hardly a time of year when I am not thinking in musical terms. And for anyone who wants to discuss those three summer months I spend on vacation, I say, “Come along and do what I do, then we can discuss my ‘lengthy vacation’.” I think of my summer as a time of rejuvenation and preparation for the next onslaught of competitions and performances. At least ten days of my summer are spent in workshops and choral reading clinics. The workshops are usually dull, but the reading clinics are fun and inspiring. I also use the summer months to map out at least a semesters’ worth of lesson plans for all seven choirs and for the the three elementary grade levels of general music that I teach. In addition, I use the summer to learn all the music that each choir will be performing in concert and in competition. I must be able to play the piano accompaniment reasonably well and it is imperative for me to know each voice part that my students will be singing. Last, but not least, is choreography. Most elementary level music involves some dance moves that I work through at least once or twice over the summer.

So, you get the idea that my summer months are not spent entirely in “sweet freedom” from the demands of the school year. However, there are many days in June and July that I can wake up to the sound of birds singing rather than an alarm clock buzzing…….wonderful. There are working days that I can move at my own leisurely pace with no bells every 40 minutes or so…….wonderful. There are days that I can choose to do absolutely nothing…….wonderful. There are days I can spend at the pool…..wonderful. There are days without a single question from a child……..wonderful. And there are days that I don’t have to fill out a single piece of paperwork………really wonderful.

I truly love being a public school music teacher. It is a mission, a vocation rather than a job. There are the ups and downs that any adult professional faces, but I am so blessed to be doing something so creative, so life-changing, so spiritual and so ultimately satisfying. My students and I will always have the music that we created together. It is a bond that can never be broken. My students will share our music with their children and so on and so on. And a little part of me will live forever just as my music teachers continue to live through the music I have taught.


2 Comments so far
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How did graduation go? What do you have left now?

Comment by Suzy_Q

I was thinking about how wonderful it is that you do have so many performances. The first thing to go in any school budget seem to be the Arts. By keeping such a High profile, I hope it makes parents think twice about what and where to cut costs. Do the parents of these kids contact you directly and what kind of feedback do you get from them? That should be good for a short posting!

Comment by Whiterabbit

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