I’ve seen lots of people talking about recruitment and retention as the end of the year approaches. It was the topic of last week’s music education chat on Twitter as well. Understandably, we music teachers are already looking ahead to next year. What will be the dynamics of our ensembles? Will instrumentation be balanced? What music can we start the year with? We are planners by nature, even if we don’t all keep a strict system of lesson plans like other teachers.
I find myself not thinking about next year yet. How about you? It’s really an unusual place to be. And I think the reason for it lies in two facts: 1. I’m finishing my master’s degree the summer, and I really need to focus on that in the short term. 2. I really enjoyed working with my older band this year, and the fact of the matter is that I don’t want to let them go. Having a band with that kind of chemistry and work ethic is a rare treat, and I am not ready to give them up.
I think you know the kind of group that I am passing on to my colleague next year. Kids who work hard. Kids who are creative. Parents who support music education and really want their kids to love it and do well. A group who plays well together, even if music isn’t involved. A group that is more than the sum of its parts. Good players? Yes, for the most part. Good people? For sure.
So the summer will be busy, and the fall will bring the same questions as every other year. Chemistry, ability, and the like. I think Dr. Seuss had it right. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Maverick Band of 2012-2013, you’ve given me lots to smile about. Bravo!