Friday, December 19, 2014

Year 5: Week 16 – Week Of Insanity?

And it’s over.

Like a sandcastle almost completely washed away by waves, the stress, the insanity and the joy of the passed week are almost completely gone, leaving memories of the times that are passed.

In some ways this is the most intense week of the school year for our music department. We have special rehearsals that changed around our schedules this week leading up with an elementary school performance in the day on Thursday and then a middle school and high school concert in the evening.

Yes, it was an intense week and there was a lot to do. Every day it felt like we had just enough time to get done what needed to be done, but we got through it all and we had a good time.

There’s a adage in music education that talks about how the most amount of fun and satisfaction comes from performing great music at a high level. The same goes for teaching.

As a department, we did a great job preparing our students and ourselves for this week. Students weren’t learning notes and rhythms this past week. That work we purposely did in weeks previous. This allowed us to have the students truly “play music,” and enjoy the preparing time we had in the auditorium.

Pushing the kids to have the songs mastered earlier forced us all as teachers to have a better sense of the passing and the process of our teaching. Having this planning done earlier meant that we weren’t focusing on coming up with lessons this week; rather we were following a plan.

The most important thing that made this past week wonderful was the fact that the members of the music department remembered one very important thing: these are all our students. Even though I have yet to teach the first graders, I have a responsibility to them and even though the other general music teacher hasn’t the a taught high school soprano in seven years, she is still her teacher.  Add into a mix one of the best student teachers we've ever had and a Jenga tower and you've got a good time had by all.

I'm looking forward to teaching without having a performance looming in January, but I'm also looking forward to this time next year.  If we can have fun and also work hard creating great musical experiences for our kids during this past week, then imagine the fun we're going to have during the rest of the year.  

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