Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Personal Failures

This is a bit personal for me, so here goes nothing....

But first, a reason why this blog post came to mind. Tonight, I went to a beautiful choir concert given by our district's 5th grade auditioned honor choir. I have three very talented students in the group this year and due to a crazy personal schedule, I had missed the previous concerts. I'm so glad I made it tonight because it was lovely! I am always impressed by the teachers who put in the extra hours to work with these students. Thank you to Virginia, Christie, Corey and Robyn for all your hard work!

One of the songs they sang tonight brought back a lot of memories for me. The children sang John Rutter's arrangement of For the Beauty of the Earth. When I was in the 7th grade (which was the first year of middle school in my home district), this piece (along with another called Jubilate Deo - sorry, I don't remember the arrangement because I know there are a million out there) was an audition piece for our All-District choir competition. Being so passionate for music, I signed up to audition. Looking back, I'm quite surprised I did this, because I've always been terrified to sing by myself! But I did, maybe because I loved the audition music so much!

Long story short, I practiced at all the rehearsals, learned my part (Soprano I back then), practiced with my tape (yes, tape) and headed out on the bus early on a Saturday with all my friends. I was definitely nervous, but I remember making it through, not missing my entrance, and not messing up.

But, after many years of great scores at piano festivals, concerts and such.....my first choir audition was not as successful. Most of my friend's names were posted or called -- I can't remember how they announced it -- but not me. Truthfully, I was devastated. I didn't feel like I was robbed or scored unfairly....it was just my first major fail in music. (Certainly not my last though....)

When my 5th graders told me they were singing For the Beauty of the Earth at this concert, I shared this story with them. Yes, I failed at a singing audition when I was a kid, but I went back to choir that next Monday and sang more and went back the next year and the next and the next. Now I'm a music teacher encouraging my students not to give up either. I wanted them to see that one failure doesn't have to define us. This is something I'm struggling with currently (on other levels), so perhaps I'm trying to convince myself in the meantime. (Why is it so hard to follow our own words?)

I love that music can bring back memories and transport us back in time. It may sound like painful memories, but in the end, failing at that audition was just part of the journey to where I am now.

1 comment :

  1. Great piece, Kelly! Some of our very best learning moments are a result of "failure". Keep up the great writing!