Gather round, kids, it’s story time. So I’ve mentioned a few times that I used to be a music teacher, yeah? My major in college was music education; after I graduated I got my teaching credential and taught choir at my high school alma mater. The choral program there was a force to be reckoned with. I went through it as a student and was so proud and honored to get to go back and teach there a short few years later. I stayed for three years and then decided to move to NYC to pursue musical theatre, which I did (and which is how I met Mr. Lovely). Somewhere in the middle of it all I started this here little blog and it took off and now it’s my job. Which I love, but I also love teaching music.
It turns out that the choral program where I studied and taught is in a bit of a jam this year. The choral director left and the school decided not to hire another choral teacher, but rather to slash the program and give a couple of the remaining choirs to the instrumental teacher. It was like a punch in the gut, hearing that the program that I (and so many others) have loved so dearly is now in danger of disappearing completely. The instrumental teacher is doing her very best but I’m sure you can imagine being tossed into the deep end to educate young people about something which is not your area of expertise.
This is all to say: I’ve been working with the instrumental director a bit and going back into the classroom to help the choral students where I can, and it’s been wonderful. Do you guys know how cool high school students are? They’re smart and funny and willing to work hard if you just know how to get to them. And the kids in this particular program understand the responsibility given to them this year of all years, to help keep the program strong enough to survive.
If you know me personally and know the particular choral program I’m speaking of, we need your support! Call the school. Come to the concerts. Offer your help to the music department. And if you don’t know the program or aren’t in the Central California area, I so encourage you to support the performing arts in your local schools. I know I don’t often get on soapboxes around these parts, but if there’s one thing I’m passionate about it’s this. Music and the arts are so integral to helping educate young people. There is study after study showing correlation between the arts and higher grades, better socialization, and higher success rate for students in so many areas. And aside from that, participating in music and the other performing arts gives students the opportunity to be part of and give to something larger than themselves, which is so important.
Thanks for reading this one, guys. It’s so close to my heart and hopefully it rings true for some of you as well. Anybody out there sing? Play an instrument? Do drama club? Leave a comment and tell me some of your fond memories of those days! And hey, have a great weekend. xoxo