Friday, December 11, 2015

Year 6: Week 15 - Thoughts Before Concert Week

Next week is going to be crazy.

We have our middle school and high school music concert on Thursday night and our JK-5th grade Holiday program i Thursday during the day. All of our teaching schedules will be different, there will inevitably be last minute issues that will arise before the performances and logistical concerns will distract us from the business of making music with our students.

It’s going to a week full of hard work and challenges, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun at the same time.

Yes, we are progressive teachers. We all believe in process over the product. At the same time, we are part of a school community and it is important that students represent themselves and the work they do in class at a high level during these performances. No, the performances aren’t the point of what we do, but they are a window into the process and its important that this glance reflects the best of our preparation, care and musicianship to our community.

In this swirl of activity, stress and worry, here’s a couple things to keep in mind.

We will always get further with the carrot than the stick. Yes, there is a time to let kids know where the boundaries and to have stern conversations. But for the vast majority of our kids, genuine and specific compliments will motivate them far more than any punitive feedback. The most powerful teaching tool we have is a genuine joyful smile that comes from helping our students make great music. So let them see you  that smile.

Make the rehearsals meaningful. If there was a massive snowstorm the day of our concerts would the rehearsals leading up to the performance feel like a waste of time? Every rehearsal has the potential for students to grow, have new and interesting experiences and to find personal meaning in their work. Pride of a successful performance starts with pride in a productive and satisfying rehearsal.

Have fun. Every day, we have the privilege of working with great kids and exposing them to the joy and wonder that is music. Next week, we get to share what we do every day with our community. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. So don’t forget to take a moment next week to just enjoy the music and our students' energy and enthusiasm.

No comments:

Post a Comment