Yesterday, it occurred to me that despite myself, I was enjoying the challenge of planning some exciting lessons for my show choir. The reason I say, “despite myself,” is because frankly, I don’t like show choir music that much. I’ve never been a fan of Broadway as a performer, and pop music is too repetitive for my taste. Not to mention, my students, while enthusiastic, want to be just like Glee after only a couple rehearsals; they don’t realize that singing and choreographing just one song takes many rehearsals! However, I offered this after-school class because the kids wanted it, nay, demanded it. As a music teacher and musician, can I deny this in good conscience?
Then, I began thinking, does “becoming” something new (i.e., an opera singer) demand that we shed our old skin (i.e., music teacher)? There are many reasons why the answer is, “yes” for me–time, energy, focus, germs from kids (seriously), speaking too much, etc.–and plenty of people have told me to do so. On the other hand, does “being” something exclude “being” something else? Is identity singular?
I finally acknowledged that I’m a good music teacher, and I have an obligation to share that knowledge and skill with others. Perhaps that sounds weird, but I’m a perfectionist and have a hard time admitting that anything I do is good enough. Well, I’m done with that. I’m a good teacher and a skilled musician. If I’m going to leave a legacy in the world, aside from my own children of course, then it will be what I can share of myself.
What are your gifts that you can–must– share?