While it's good to hang out and cut up, we also attend concert sessions and interest sessions. Here's where things get thick. I found myself intensely frustrated today. By what? I'm not even quite sure that I've processed enough to know yet. However, I think it's rooted in the disparity between where I am and where I want to be. All of my colleagues have these wonderful, flourishing choral programs renowned throughout the state. Me... I'm bashing my head against the wall trying to build one up. The choral music "scene" or "culture" (if you will) doesn't exist in Auburn like it does in Birmingham. People "get it" there. There is an expectation from the community, parents, teachers, kids, etc. that ___________ Middle School has a great choral program and your kid should go there and be in choir because they'll have a great experience. That doesn't exist in Auburn. Well, let me pause and say that it does somewhat exist at the Junior High and High school level, but not at my school.
Mine is just a different circumstance that makes it more difficult to have a comparable middle school program to others in the state.
So what right? Quit whining. I agree. I learned a lot at this conference. I was affirmed in some of the things I already do and introduced to many new things and ideas to try. I've heard of a thing called a "holy frustration," a discontent placed in one's heart that urges them to change their circumstances or the circumstances that created said frustration. I think that's what I come away from AMEA with. Yes, I heard some great choirs and that's always a plus. But even more, I was able to see and be reminded of where I want to be. Why I'm doing the things I'm doing at my school. Why, when it seems like nobody else cares one way or the other, I'm pushing for sixth grade choir. Why I'm teaching kids classical choral repertoire when all they want to sing is what they hear on the radio. Keep in mind I'm not saying these things for MYSELF. This isn't because I want more fame or renown. I just want for my students the same opportunities and experiences afforded to those kids in more chorally conscious school systems. I'm young. I got time. I'm gonna make this happen.