Random String Camp Thoughts

I am embarking on my fourth year at the same school this upcoming year.  I have never been able to stay at the same school for so long thanks to the military and I have had mixed feelings about it.

This year, I began to feel that I was being taken for granted by my students.  Not all of them, not by any means, but I was no longer the new and revolutionary teacher.  They all are kind of acclimated to my crazy rehearsal style and many of the events that we do.  This year was actually a really challenging year for a number of reasons, but I will save that for another time.  For right now, I want to reflect upon my fourth year and the String Camp events.

Today was the last day of String Camp as well as my Future Music Educators Camp.  First of all, observations from String Camp:

  • I genuinely enjoy seeing my own high school students grow as counselors and teachers just as much, if not even more, as I enjoy seeing the actual campers’ growth.  “Jane” went from being so strict that the students were afraid of her to finding her own rhythm and persona as a teacher that students came to adore!  “Izzy” discovered an incredible ability to work with sectionals through her creative pacing plans and her emphasis on rhythm.  “Adam” and “Liam” got to conduct a piece each since they were seniors.  These two have been with me since my own first year and I am so thrilled with their growth.  Adam was running rehearsal for me today and when I walked in, a student who had been begging to conduct all week was conducting the group.  It was so cool to see Adam doing exactly what I did for him and giving another student a chance on the podium.  I was so proud!  Adam also coached a set of soloists to tell a story with their solos.  And although they only had a few days to work up the solo, I think they gained a great deal by working with him!  All of my students grew through this camp, but I am particularly pleased with these students!
  • I finally got a chance to work with all of the students today.  This camp has grown to over ten times it’s original size!  I am so happy about that and I truly believe it is because of my stellar counselors, a fantastic price of course!, and my enthusiastic way of teaching.  Working with all of the students was really great.  The younger ones LOVED all of the silly things I did.  I was also impressed with their desire to play better, and with the work that my other directors have done.  I hired some outstanding teachers for this camp and it showed in the final product.
  • Even though my counselors did a great job, I think they could do even better if I have a training session for them before the actual camp.  I wonder if I could get them all to participate in FMEC.  Would that be weird?  It is an interesting thought.  Especially my sectional coaches could use some lessons on classroom management and rehearsal technique…. Hmmmm… Something I definitely should be thinking about…

I will post again later today if I have time, but I have to go now!

Off to watch my FMEC students with their camps!

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