When I came to Calaveras High School in the spring of 1968, the music program barely existed. I saw the 13 unhappy band students sitting around playing with a Ouija board. I came to this sad situation with years of music experience, my shiny new teaching credential and lots of enthusiasm. In the 34 years that followed I was given a gift beyond any reasonable expectation. I was allowed to do what I loved, and was paid to do it.
Over the years I taught all types and styles of music to thousands of students. I loved watching them grow in confidence, musical ability, teamwork, leadership and responsibility.
One incident that rings most strongly in my mind is the one young man who joined choir as a freshman. He truly could only sing one note. Whatever the song was, he sang that one note, but he was willing to accept encouragement and by the end of that first year his improvement was surprising. He stayed in Beginning Choir a second year and by the end of that year, he was able to sing his part…. barely. He kept working and in his third year auditioned for the Concert Choir, made it in and was a positive contribution to the ensemble.
I think you know what happened next. Yes, in his senior year this boy who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket auditioned and won a place in Jazz ETC. Why? Because he was willing to believe in himself and keep on trying and trying, and his teacher believed in him and encouraged him.
This is why Music Matters to me. I have seen again and again the positive benefit and gift that music can be in the lives of children, and I will do whatever I can to ensure that all children in our school district will continue to have this opportunity.
All of us who have joined together in the Calaveras SAVE Campaign are committed to do whatever we can to ensure the continuance of Music Education in our school district. I invite you to join us. It might be that your contribution or participation will be the last bit that brings us to success. Now it is your turn.