I’ll share my heart if you share yours…

“Meet them where they are.” I can hear those words being shared by so many of my Music Ed profs over the years. These days, that means finding a way to keep my Choir kids as musically-engaged as possible despite the miles that are separating us. This isolation flies in the face of what ensemble work entails. The very word, “ensemble” = together. To quote Chandler Bing, “Could we BE any less together than we are right now?”

We’ve worked on videos, reflected on our repertoire, and critiqued performances. A few weeks back, we started compiling a portfolio in the form of playlists. The task: Choose 3 songs, each one to represent a specific theme as it relates to your past, present, and future. I expected some questions… How does this work? Will you let me use this one? Google Classroom isn’t working! etc. Never ones to disappoint, most of my kids rose to the occasion and gave me some really great responses. Reading them has consumed my time and my spirit, especially as they have shared parts of themselves and their histories that I wouldn’t have known had we been continuing our regular rehearsals. We broke new ground.

In addition to last week’s assignment, I asked them to come up with ideas for future themes. Some of what they’ve returned: friendships, nature, joy (the emotion, not the dog), love, happiness, jazz, motivation, dreams, faith, nostalgia, friendship, success, sorry, summer, justice, on a rainy day, future, empowerment, never giving up, self-love, adventures, energy, acceptance… I have nearly 80 students, so I’ll limit the sample to these. I can’t choose just one but I can invite them to choose for themselves. These days, I want them to find and keep the music within themselves. I do believe this is in line with the most recent message from a Music Ed prof: the reminder that we “teach people, not music.”

We all have stories to tell. Time for another cup of coffee. Stay well and safe, everyone.

Published by Just call me Nan.

A musician/educator who is sustained by the love of a great family and wonderful friends. Lover of peace and animals.

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