For the Love of Music

by ImageJoe Richards
Troy School District

More often than not, we string teachers come home from the rigors of the orchestra classroom and decide to watch TV, go to the gym, take the kids to soccer practice, etc.  The business of our lives leads us to forget to make time for one very important thing – playing music on our instruments.

After two years of teaching beginners, I am realizing more and more that we overlook this golden opportunity that maybe we take for granted.  Making music is something we can take with us for our entire lives – in a professional capacity or not. I really do hope the students we teach play their fiddles for a lifetime; whether that be in a community or professional orchestra, becoming a member of MASTA, or something done at a family get together.  If we have this desire for our students, why is it that we do not make time for this ourselves? Typically we are only taking out our axes for school, private lessons, or a wedding, but rarely for pleasure.

Think of it this way: some people have barely had the opportunity to make music, let alone fall in love with playing a stringed instrument. We are extremely lucky and we should be grateful for these gifts that have been given to us.  In my eyes, our instruments are the perfect release; it’s just you and the music. You can forget about the evil thing a 7th grader said to you yesterday, what a colleague mentioned about one of your students in the teacher’s lounge, and that you have so much work to do and not enough hours in the day.  In the grand scheme of things, how much is playing through your favorite excerpts for 25 minutes after school or getting together with some friends for an hour or two going to affect how much work you get done before your Friday due date? You’re a string teacher – you’re organized, efficient, and will always get the job done.

If you have the desire to become reunited with your love for playing music, feel free to contact myself or anyone else in the Southeast Michigan String Teacher Orchestra via facebook.  We are a very flexible, fun, and positive group of teachers that love to make music with others.

Happy Practicing!