On Friday night and Saturday morning of last week the music students at my studio performed in several student recitals. They had been working on their music for weeks and months. Time that could have been spent playing or hanging out with friends was spent reviewing songs over and over and over again.
I couldn’t be more proud of them. They worked so hard. They were courageous to stand in front of a crowd of people and make music. They make me proud to be a music teacher.
One of the unalterable truths about life is that things do not always go the way we want them to.
This past Friday evening the studio where I teach voice put on a Christmas recital. I sang in it, and some of my students sang. It’s funny how you get more nervous about your students’ performances than your own. You want them to go so well and be such a good experience for them. This was not.
My first student is such a dear. She reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. Unfortunately I had thoughtlessly placed the microphone in the wrong spot and when she got up to sing she got a huge amount of feedback. It jangled her nerves so badly that she cried later. I was so proud of her for going on with the performance. I don’t know if I would have been so brave at her age.
My second student did fabulously, bless her, but then my third had microphone issues, and could barely be heard.
What do you do when life doesn’t go as planned? How do you help a little person learn to pick up the pieces and go on? Sometimes being a teacher is really hard. Because I’m not just teaching voice. I’m teaching these kids about life, about how to be themselves and be proud of that, and about how to be a better person. And sometimes teachers have to teach things we’re still learning ourselves.