the all district string festival is a huge event. this was my first one because i never had an opportunity like this when i was growing up. i started to play violin through a school system identical to the ones i work for now. however, when my violin class was cut due to a variety of reasons (mostly budget), i had to look for other ways to get a quality music education in a valley with no resources.
i told myself when i was in high school that i wanted to make sure that future musicians-in-training would have the resources and training available to them that i didn't have. i was lucky enough to get hired by two ventura county schools. i have become more and more involved with the string programs out here and have been thrilled to discover that the teachers have a goal to get a string program in every school in the district. they are pretty close to the goal and as soon as i graduate, they'll be even closer.
for the festival, i played the role of teacher, friend, kid wrangler, and tuner.
i literally tuned hundreds of violins that day. there were roughly 200 elementary string players and i tuned all of them approximately 3-5 times that day. hundreds of baby instruments, people! and those tiny beginning fine tuners just killed my fingers. they were rubbed raw. my hands were in major pain...
all district works like this:
all the string players in the district programs, elementary through high school, come together for one night to play music together for friends and family at the huge thousand oaks civic arts plaza, a professional performing arts center. it's an incredibly inspiring opportunity for young musicians to get a glimpse of their futures and be proud of their accomplishments.
i love teaching these kids. hearing the littlest ones "ooooo" and "ahhhh" as they walked on to the stage for the first time, seeing the big hall and the bright lights. that moment was one of the beautiful ones that makes all the kid wrangling worth it.
i'm lucky that this is my job. i get to play violin, teach violin, and change people's lives for a living. what a life.