January 16, 2016 by morningcamequickly
Thousands upon thousands of music teachers are getting ready to go through one of the busy seasons in their jobs. Holiday Concert Season. Christmas Concert Season. Winter Concert Season. No matter what you call it, it’s Concert Season!
How do I know when my students are ready? How can I tell when I know that the concert will go well? Is it when the songs have been polished and cut offs are good? When dynamics are followed without me handing out the evil eye? Is it when the singers have gone from slouching to standing tall? Or when I have trained my students to follow me and not talk to each other in the middle of a song? No! All of these things are great and I must strive for them, but none of them are how I know the concert will go well.
I know my concert will go well when I have the “Nightmare Before the Concert”. Yup, when work invades my dreams, I know I don’t need to worry anymore. This is how it works.
Everyday at work I prepare students for the concert. We do warm ups to help prepare us to work on portions of songs. We practice sight singing with the hopes it will help us learn music more easily. We learn our parts on songs…many times. And I know my kiddos are ready for the concert. They are solid on the songs and if there are little quirky things, I’m always pretty sure that they will step up to the plate concert night.
But, it’s not until I actually have a nightmare about the concert that I really go with the flow. The bad dream usually comes within the last week before the concert. In the past, dreams have included a whole section of the choir not showing up, a lighting fiasco, and the dreaded microphone screech. Or, how about before the musical and the sets fell apart? Oh my.
But, these nightmares are reassuring to me. It’s like they are telling me that the kids are ready and I’m ready. They are saying, “Here is something really ridiculous that will never happen in a concert”. Maybe I should stop looking at them as nightmares and look at them more as dream comedy!
My concert is this Thursday evening. I’m anticipating my dream to come at some point. I’ve been at this for over 15 years, I doubt I’ll be let down now. So, bring on the hundreds of pairs of eyes staring at my backside and bring on Concert Season. My students are ready to perform for you! They are the reason I do concerts. It’s not for me, it’s for the students. I get to help shape the musical lives of so many students.
Good luck to my fellow music teachers and feel free to share how you know your students are ready! We can all use a smile!