I was never an “ideas” person, I told myself… ideas are for other people. I’m a supporter of other people’s ideas. After all, it was Beethoven’s idea to write these notes, aren’t I just here to make them sound good? When my endlessly creative collaborative chamber music counterparts suggested bringing spirituality, movement, and theatre to our straight and often narrow classical music world, I enthusiastically participated. I’m not the one with the ideas, I told myself, unfazed. Always willing to try new things, to devote myself, to move around in something new, but not the source, I feel like that was me for a long time.
And now I sit here, from a vantage point I never imagined for myself originally: I’m a public school orchestra director, and I’m bursting at the seams with ideas. I want to do EVERYTHING under the sun. I’ve kicked myself several times for not considering this path sooner, but the truth of the matter is, I wouldn’t have been ready. And now, I don’t even recognize myself. My world looks so wildly different than anything I’ve ever experienced, and I’m just now finding the head space to be able to write briefly about it.
On the most basic level, having a routine schedule with “normal hours” almost feels trippy to my freelance/evening teaching internal clock. My body is still in shock, and I’m convinced I’ll still be adjusting when it’s finally light enough outside to actually see my crappy half-awake make-up application job on my drive to work. Long story short, and waking up early aside, I’m loving the benefits of maintaining a schedule that actually has elements of predictability. Who knew this was a thing?
You could also lump having a salary in there too. Didn’t see that one coming as much, but knowing how much and when you’re getting paid is an undeniably huge game changer. I am proud of myself for making things work before this gig, and continue to have mad respect for freelancers out there with better budgeting and math skills than me.
And then there is the work itself, though it doesn’t really feel like work. Teaching in this setting feels like what I was meant to do. I’m not sure how quite else to describe it. And it may sound dumb, but I also really love having a space that exists at work for me to just… work in — not in my own home. Can you imagine having an office? Head explode! It’s so great.
But honestly, I think the reason it all feels so great — the kids, the colleagues, the office, the schedule, the music — is because of the community. Bringing people together is really what teaching in a school is all about for me. It is one of the warmest, most fulfilling and inspiring scenarios of my entire life, and I simply can not get enough. I am so grateful to be here.
Cheers to landing in unexpected places, perpetual exhaustion, big ideas, and being a part of something!