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End of the Quarter Stress

So it's been a couple of weeks since my last blog post, but in that time, I got my website up and running, have had concerts at two of my schools, and already started to think about next semester for my students! This is not something new, but it is interesting to see my own expectations vs. what is reality. As I sit here at my favorite coffee shop in Tucson, Café Passé (If you have never been there, you should try it out! You're in for a real treat!), I am trying to decide what to write about...

Being at three schools makes the stress of concerts three times as stressful with scheduling, preparing, motivating each class's very different personality, and finally the actual performance. At one of my performances, we were getting ready for the last song - Jingle Bells obviously since they are the holiday concerts. I counted the group off and in the excitement of the moment, my trumpets played the whole song twice as fast as everyone else! Let's just say that it sounded like some type of Charle Ives composition, but at the end of it, they said "HEY", the audience clapped, and they went on with their night and came in the next day ready to learn more music.

At all of my schools so far, even before one concert is finished, the students are asking "Mister! When is the next concert?" "Mister! Can I do a solo on the next concert?" Maybe it's just me, but I don't remember asking my band teachers so often when the next concert would be until after the concert or the next week or so. This is something very exciting and is pushing me to be a better educator and push the students musically. For this reason, I am stealing an idea of one of my colleagues and planning out the week on an excel document to really help push me to get certain things done in the short time that I see the students. The challenge with planning like this is having your goals, but also thinking about how much realistically your students can get done in that amount of time. As I teach more and get to know my students capabilities, I think this will be easier, but in the mean time we will see how it goes! I'll keep you up-to-date on how it works out.

As the quarter winds down, I am grateful for the hard work my students have done in my first semester of teaching and want to continue to get to know them even better so I can help them grow musically in whatever way they want to grow. The great thing about teaching beginning bands is the immediate growth that you can see over a year where 9 months before, they were not even able to assemble their instrument correctly and now they are performing music for their friends and family. I am really looking forward to the next semester of teaching my students and seeing how much they can grow.

Please stay tuned for my next blog post about what is going on in my life!

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