Last spring, I shattered my preconceptions of what a junior high band looks like. I watched Clyde Quick interact with 7th, 8th and 9th graders and draw out of them musicianship I didn't think possible. Not only music, but behavior. He worked the kids so that they shared his enthusiasm for music and that overrode their egocentric little circuits to the point that they wanted to learn as much as they could about music.
When working at DHS, I never once thought that elementary music would interest me. The lack of musical maturity in the students was always a turn off. I realized that they all had to start somewhere, but I was only interested in working with the end result. Now I'm teaching general music in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classrooms and am completely enamored with my students and the concept of general music and am ready to champion the cause wherever I go - even if I have to do it myself. It's only the 4th week of school, I have 11 more to go with these kids, but I'm only looking forward to it.
Today I got to conduct a combined band of 6th 7th and 8th graders and again my preconceptions of beginning band were shattered. The students were engaged, they listened intently, and gave me what I asked for. I have to learn to let these preconceived notions go and believe that children are capable of doing anything as long as they are provided the right scaffolding to get there.