New teachers at our school are always interviewed for an article in our school “newspaper.” And I’m sure, like many of yours, the new teacher gets asked WHY they became a teacher. When I was hired (a long time ago to many) I gave a generic answer because I taught (and still teach) K-8 students. Something like “the real love of music was in me probably since the day I was born.” I felt my youngest students wouldn’t understand the REAL reasons I chose to be a music teacher and the two biggest reasons were too difficult into and too sensitive of matter for young learners to deal with.
From junior high through college, I loved all things that involved choir and band. But as the “quiet and shy student” (except with my closest of friends) I saw firsthand how my band director played “favorites.” I saw, heard and felt how that made others (and myself) feel- worthless and no good. This was a major learning and soul-moving moment for me. I didn’t want anyone to ever feel or experience that again – especially from their music teacher. Afterall, music can be an extremely moving experience. It has the ability to connect and reach our emotions at the deepest level. It has the power to raise up our spirits from dark and sad moments, to express our thoughts and feelings with “just” a melody, and to help us celebrate the happiest moments of our lives. As a senior in high school heading off to college, I vowed to make certain that every student I had would feel special, noticed and cared about. Afterall, no one is invisible, and everyone is equally important. That’s a special power that not only music teachers have but music itself!