It seems that writing about, talking about, tweeting about following your passions is all the rage right now, and why not? As a teacher, helping my students to find what drives them, what makes their own being tick is indeed something that ranks very high in my own philosophy.  Why wouldn’t an educator what that for their students?


However, a bi-product of all this, watching others outside of school and what they do.  How many of us wander around not really knowing what drives us or makes our own being tick?  This last weekend, we attended Iowa Irish Fest in Waterloo, Iowa.  Now, of course people think, “Iowa and Irish, really,” but this is one rocking event!  It’s in it’s seventh year, and thousands of people come to drink their black and tans (for those who don’t know, it’s dark beer and lighter beer), wear their kilts, and enjoy the various performers.  It’s a passion for their heritage that they’ve decided it what drives them, and it’s so fun to watch!


However, when I think of passions, one pops to mind when speaking of Irish music and that is Gaelic Storm.  One of the reasons we go to Irish Fest is to listen to this group.  Their initial claim to fame came from being the band playing during a scene in the movie Titanic. They’ve taken that shot at fame and run with in, building a grassroots fan base that is just fun to be around.  We love them because they are a band we can take our kids to.  We’ve seen them three times at Irish Fest, and never have we had to worry about language, inappropriate comments or anything like that.  Now, they are an Irish band, so they do sing about drinking (an my kids can sing along to them) but that’s the job of being a parent, talk about them a bit and move on!


This group is all about what being passionate about your music is all about. We’ve seem them now three times at Irish Fest, and each time is different.  There are some old stand by songs that they bring to their shows and of course there are newer songs or other not so often played song as well, but everything is performed with this awesome energy.  The last Friday, one of the members was bitten by a spider and the bite was causing a lot of discomfort, to the point where he was sitting a lot.  However, he played through it, getting up and blowing some of these amazing tunes on the bagpipes.


Passions are part of our live in so many areas.  As you write about them or talk about them with your students, take a second, and just watch how passions are played out all around you. It’s so much fun to watch what drives people to play better, to perform better, or just be better.  Maybe, in being watchful, you’ll find something new yourself! 🙂