June 7, 2010 at 6:28 AM
School has been out for a couple weeks now. It's always good to have a few weeks to regroup before going back to teaching hundreds of children per week. I have revamped some materials for the fall, but have a lot more preparation to do to get ready for the upcoming school year.
My string students played their end of the year performance during the day because I had an evening computer course I could not miss. Since we did not have to share our time with the other groups (who were performing in the evening), we could hog the stage and play for thirty minutes instead of ten. 75 students k-5 playing Twinkle is quite a sound!
During the spring, I did a brief stint teaching violin at an weekend arts academy designed for urban youth. I had to discontinue my involvement, as it was simply too chaotic. Random extra rehearsals, too many dress rehearsals, being told to come at a certain time and then waiting 45 minutes to start, etc. Students required to be dressed to the nines and having them arrive in a limo for a grand entrance for a recital instead of insisting everyone actually be prepared to participate is not my cup of tea. Valuing fancy trappings instead of emphasizing success though hard work will not give urban children tools to go beyond difficult circumstances.
As far as the rest of the summer goes, it's a miscellany of wedding/music camp/outdoor concert, etc. along with attendance at the Atlanta String Workshop in mid-July before I go back to school on July 29.
Form over substance in our urban schools!? Who would have thought?
Preparation and hard work as a formula for success!? This is the 21st century. We don't do that anymore.
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