i work with middle schoolers. middle schoolers are my favorite kind of schoolers. they are old enough to make smart decisions by themselves and they don't have to deal with adult problems yet. elementary schoolers aren't independent enough and high schoolers have too many issues like driving and college to worry about. plus, middle school was my favorite.
in this string orchestra at the middle school, there are 3 groups: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. the majority of the kids are intermediate, thanks to their elementary string programs. i teach the beginners; the kids who have never picked up a string instrument before. so i have a small ensemble of 6 violins, 5 violas, 4 celli, and 1 bass. and i am very proud of them. they had their first concert this week which consisted of jingle bells, good king wenceslas, and lots of nerves. "miss jordan, my mom is recording the recital! i'm so scared!" or my favorite "i have to nervous-pee!"
joe snuck this shot of me watching the concert with my kids and playing photographer for my boss.
there's a cellist who is naturally very talented when it comes to music and kinda owns this whole strings class thing. there's a sassy violinist who thinks she knows everything and then gets pouty-face at me when she has to admit that she doesn't (sounds familiar...). there's a violist who refuses to practice and would rather goof off with his buddies. and there's my angel of a bass player who is much too tiny to carry her instrument (i often carry it for her) but plays it beautifully. and even though they drive me b.a.n.a.n.a.s., they inspire me and are actually showing me how to be a better teacher. (just don't let them know that.)
as much as i want most of my professional life to belong to the studios, where my heart is, i know i will always teach. i've learned a heap about myself through being an educator. my strengths and weaknesses as a musician and as a person. i owe a lot to middle schoolers.
p.s. in my limited, yet growing knowledge of code, i figured out how to add a subscription option in the blog sidebar. feel free to enter your email so you can get blog updates!