I’ve been looking back at my writing. Some of it’s drivel, but some of it hits messages that I try to talk to my students about in class. This one is five years old (damn) but the message is one that always strikes a cord with me: As a team, we are stronger.

Enjoy! 🙂


October 14, 2014

Last night, my wife and I got to watch our daughters sing as part of our conference vocal music festival.  If you don’t know what this is, imagine five high school music programs all singing together as one with a guest director.  Each school gets to sing a song of their choice, then, the whole group sings, so 300+ kids all creating a beautiful sound.  I love these kinds of events simply because of the rich sound that is created.

Both daughters have beautiful voices, period.  One is trying out for All-State Music, the best of the best in Iowa, the other had the chance to sing as part of an opening quartet last night.  They can sing and even better, they love it.  They sing EVERY WHERE!!  One of our music instructors was talking with us last night, laughing when we told her we have to send our kids to the room to sing because “we need quiet time downstairs”.  We are a family who loves music.  My wife and I met in the college choir and both sang at our respective high schools.  We’ve just started singing with our church and with a group that sings The Messiah at Christmas time.  There’s so much music being played in our home: Afro Cuban to classical to hip hop to jazz and everything in between that it would be sad if they didn’t sing!

As we were at the concert, the guest director said something that really hit home with me.

We talked about how we are a team, but a special team.  There are no winners or losers on our team, we only leave having created something.  We create this beautiful music that we get to share with you. No one gets hurt or left behind, we get to create beauty.


That’s a powerful statement to say that we are a team where “no one gets hurt or left behind” and that “there are no winners or losers on our team”.  I pulled that gem out today in class because we’ve struggled mightily as of late, just trying to find some way to keep ourselves together.  I love this idea that our team doesn’t leave people behind and that we aren’t looking at our classroom in terms of winners or losers.  We shouldn’t!  As I think back to past classes, I’ve worked hard to keep pulling people along, keeping them with us, keeping that idea of a safe place for all, where failure is not only allowed, but expected!

The fine arts have been screwed over time and time again.  Cutting back on something that creates beauty (and helps with literacy and math) is foolhardy at best.  I am lucky to have my daughters on a “team” like the one they’ve had all through middle school and now high school.  They’ve made new friends and found that it’s ok to be a music geek.  And to me, being on that team of people who create things in a safe environment, how much better of a team could you ask for? 🙂