Highlights from the School Year

May 13, 2018, 5:18 PM · It is almost the end of the school year! Huzzah! Some cool highlights from this year....

1.The Solar Eclipse. Okay, I know this one is not distinctly musical, but how many jobs (other than teacher) can you bring your telescope into school and show your students? Besides there is something musical about the spheres…

2.My private student’s success. I had taught privately several years ago but stopped because it was too overwhelming. I started again last May and took on one student. It has been a blast! She has grown so much since this time last year. She has blown through Suzuki 1-3, practices hard, and loves violin. She did take two years of my public-school class before she took lessons, in case Suzuki 1-3 seemed too fast. We are now slowing down for Suzuki 4, and she is doing Schradieck and Sevcik. She received a superior rating at solo and ensemble this year and will have performed two solos with both my intermediate and advanced group. I can’t wait to see where she will go next!

3.My conducting prodigy. This student was the kind of student that I was tempted to think would always be a problem. Last year, I made a deal with him. If he could keep out of trouble between concerts, he could conduct a piece. He struggled for several semesters with it, but now is going to conduct Celtica by Brian Balmages in a few days. Over the course of this year, he has grown to love cello and has a natural knack for conducting. He has matured so much over this year, and I hope he continues his musical growth into high school.

4.“John”. Long story short, I decided to stop regularly playing with the local community symphony. However, I wanted to still be involved. Many of my former middle-school students played there, and it is a great thing for this small community. I ended up writing a programmatic piece called “John”, based on the life of John the Baptist. I got to conduct it for their final concert. It was a huge privilege to share my faith through my music, and it made some money for my school.

5.Small Victories. They happen all the time. One kid is sick for orchestra class but FaceTimes in on her friend’s phone. Or, when I was sick, some of my classes ran themselves. Not a small feat for middle-school kids. Or, having a former music student be old enough to sub for me. Or, a former student got accepted into a music school for music education this year.

So, while the kids are acting like they just drank 1,000 energy drinks, remember the good times and push to the end of the year!

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