May 20, 2009

Day 4 Community Support- Who is supporting who?

I went to choir today. I haven’t been in quite a while, not since it was decided we would not be participating in the Christmas concert. Our numbers are small this year, there were too few of us to pull off a performance. I can’t really say why I stopped. I love choir. There is nothing about it I don’t love. But it is at a time I often forget, right when the kids are coming home from school. I am often away on Wednesdays. These aren’t very good reasons, they are reasons, but not good ones. I was asked this last week by two members of the choir to come back. That some “strong” voices were needed. I like that my voice is considered strong. I made a commitment to both that I would come back, to support the choir. And I did. I walked into the mandala room where choir is held, everyone was so happy to see me. They told me what changes had been made, got me music that I didn’t have, let me stand in the middle of my parts so I wouldn’t be thrown off. Wait! Who is supporting who here? Here I had flaked on them and they were welcoming me back with open arms. At the helm is the talented Bree. She is also the music teacher at the Nelson Waldorf School, the school where all three of my children spend their week days. The children at the school sing like angels. Now I know all parents are obligated to say their child sounds like a song bird, but these children really do. Ask a non affiliated, less bias parent who has had the honour of hearing them, and they will tell you the same. All the music that comes out of our school is truly amazing. I can’t tell you what it is that Bree has, how she manages to bring out the pitch perfect best in all those she teaches, but then that is what makes a truly good teacher isn’t it? They seem to be able to work some sort of magic, making wine from water. Not that those of us in the choir or our children are water. Our potential, our voices are our own. Bree just has a knack of coaxing our best out. She is a no nonsense choir leader, and I am told by my children a no nonsense teacher too. We are expected to pay attention, and follow direction, but it is all done with smiles and encouragement. She has high expectations, and so we live up to them. So much so that when people comment how good our choir is, and are then encouraged to join, they usually say something like “Oh no! I would never be allowed in!”. This is not the case, Bree includes anyone who is willing to commit to choir practice, and in my case even this seems to be overlooked. She works her magic with each member to find their inner soprano...or alto... or bass. We at the school are very lucky to have this wonderfully talented music teacher. As I left choir she asked me how I was, I almost gave her a standard “good”. But it would not have been honest. I told her that right now I was feeling like I had bitten off more than I could chew, that with everything going on I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. She thanked me for making the time for choir. “No“ I said ”Thank you! Coming here and singing, makes everything more manageable, makes things better“. The choir supports me as much (if not more) as I support them.

I wanted to give 12 days journal #37 to Bree, but I forgot to take it to practice. I will send it with one of my daughter to school tomorrow. Inside the front cover the question ”What makes a good teacher?“ is written. Bree should know all about that.


  1. A good teacher is someone who loves what they are teaching and has a burning desire to share. A good teacher communicates emotion not just ideas. A good teacher sets intentions not expectations. A good teacher sees something wonderful in every person in their charge no matter how easy or challenging they are.

  2. I'm going to be lazy and "here, here!" Chris. He said it much better than I would be able to anyway. Thanks, Chris. :-)