My bags are packed, I’m ready to go. I’m about to meet my new crop of students–always an exciting time of year. But this time, of course, it feels much different; there’s a whiff of change in the air because, yes! We get to MEET AGAIN. In person. In a group. It feels monumental.
I’ve spent much of the summer working on an article on a new approach to music pedagogy that speaks to the power of teamwork, collaboration and the intersections found between teachers and learners, to the degree that the lines between the two are increasingly blurred, resulting in learning and teaching on both sides. This paradigm is grounded, however, in actually BEING TOGETHER. And although we were able to meet sometimes in person in the most recent winter term, only half of my students chose to do so. We were also unable to meet in person as a group at all, and this, I find, is where so much of the magic in my teaching happens.
There’s a special alchemy that occurs when a group of us are together in a room, experiencing performing and music making as a complete entity. The exchange of energies, ideas, sounds–it’s all inspiring and even heady to me. This is where I really come alive as a teacher (and perhaps my students would attest to this?). Maybe it’s my extroverted personality, or the fact that I love to perform. But honestly, I think it’s that I have always been a team player. I simply love to be together with others, working toward a common goal. I love the collective hum of excitement when someone grasps a concept and runs with it, to the astonishment and obvious delight of their peers. When taught in an environment of this kind of team belonging, students invariably rise to the occasion on the one hand, and exuberantly support one another’s efforts on the other, regardless of outcome. So it’s this that I am most excited about as I ready myself to meet this year’s class. The fact that after such a long hiatus and so much time alone, at last, We Meet Again. Welcome home, everyone.