Friday, January 8, 2016

Year 6: Week 17 - Festival On The Horizon

It started as an idea. Let’s provide for our students an experience that helps them understand the greater musical community outside of our school and host a music festival. This was an idea, I first said aloud three years ago and now we are a month away from hosting our first festival.

Music festivals are a part of most students’ music education. A music festival is when schools, usually within a school district, join together once a year and play for each other. In addition, there are invited music educators who are invited to work with students.

Music festivals were part of my life growing up and part of my previous teaching job. In previous jobs, these festivals filled up weekends, took up a lot of class time to prepare for and were stressful. So I was glad when I started at this school and found that it was not as performance focused and didn’t participate in any festivals. Also, my first charge when I was hired was to start a band program, and doing a festival without and established band program didn’t make a lot of sense.

I had been floating around this idea of hosting a festival as a long term goal and then last year, my principal asked me, “why don’t we do the festival next year?” And without any good reason why not, I agreed that we would make it happen.

I stopped keeping track of how many tasks were on my to do list for this festival and how many emails I had sent out concerning this event.  There have been a bunch of meetings and some pretty wild twists and turns. While I’ve gotten a lot of work done and we are making good progress, there’s still a ton to do and it’s a lot to handle. The crazy thing is that it feels like the people in my department and my administration has more faith in my ability to pull this thing off than I do.

Before break, I was feeling annoyed because it seemed like people at my school just assumed that I would handle things.  "It Kingsley is involved things will just come together because he can make anything happen."  However on further reflection I’ve realized this isn’t about people taking advantage of me, it’s a feeling of confidence and belief in my vision and my abilities. It is because this community believes in me that I should put in the extra time, work and effort to makes things like this festival happen for my school.

It’s been a really busy week, but the work I’ve done for the festival this week feels satisfying.  I found time to enjoy my teaching with my students amongst all of the madness, which was an important reminder of the why behind all of the work.

There's a lot more to do for this festival, I'm trying some new stuff with some of classes and grades just around the corner.

Bring it on.

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