This is me. Well, this is one side of me at least. I teach music. I teach music to junior high students. I teach music to students in grade 6-9. Yes, I teach music to students who have never played an instrument before and who squeak and squawk and make other unrecognizable sounds – AND I LOVE IT!
On December 7, we had our first music concert of the season. A Christmas celebration. There were 3 concert bands, 1 jazz band and a choir. I am exhausted! And yet, it is 1:41am, I have a medley of the songs we played going through my head, which has become an ear parasite, and I am awake.
Concerts are a funny thing. They require a huge amount of work – months of preparation with the students. Hours upon hours of time organizing the behind the scenes “stuff” – equipment movement, song choice, emcee scripts, programs, tickets vs free vs donation, lights, sound, etc, etc, etc (As the King and I would have said).
Then concert day arrives, students are off the wall with nerves or excitement – heck so am I, and there is this HUGE build up to the show. Students arrive early (like HOURS early) and pace around my classroom, somethings, only sometimes, do I feel like a babysitter. There is always at least one accident before the concert because of some poor decision, tonight there was blood – a lot of it and a wonderful parent who came to the rescue because I was dealing with on stage stuff. That reminds me, I have to send her a thank you card for her help. Up next is the mass organization, the MILLIONS of questions, and hearing my name about a trillion time in a 5 minute span, “Mrs. E , I can’t find….” “Mrs. E, do I have to….” “Mrs E….” “Mrs E….” “Mrs E….” “Mrs E….”. At those moments, my composure leaves me, my head spins, and I get short with people and perhaps let out a tiny scream. My pet peeve on concert night is when I get questions to things I’ve talked about FOR A WEEK! Where do I go, When do I go, How long is the concert (which is usually followed by, my parents want to know), When do I get my instrument and so on. Being the kind of person I am, those aren’t things I usually just let happen – I plan the logistics because we move about 200 students and I don’t want it to look messy. Tonight we had some mess. It will be cleaned up for next time.
At 7:15 (Don’t even ask), when the beat drops, the house lights go down, the stage lights go up and we start, I forget everything else and just focus and love everything minute of the show. I know the picture above makes me look like I’m not having fun – BUT I AM. I remember that song, I remember making that face, if only it had been snapped before while I was smiling, but we were in our INTENSE section and I believe in showing on my face what is happening in the music. What is crazy about concert nights, is that all that work, comes down to a 5 minute and 18 second performance and then that is it – it is FINE (music term for end).
Is it a lot of work? Yes! Are there stresses? Yes! Do I sometimes want to pull my hair out? Yes.
And yet, I wouldn’t change a minute of it for ANYTHING!