Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Letter to My Colleagues

I had a lovely lunch outside with my two Orff music teacher partners-in-crime the past 30 years or so and came home to a message from a former student mentioning all three of us (note the proper us of the word AMAZING!). And so this Thanksgiving note to them both.


Dear James and Sofia,

So nice to sit together again yesterday. I came home to this note that I wanted to share with you. 


“It’s been such a long time but I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well in these crazy times. I woke up this morning and was reminded of my time at The San Francisco School and of course one of my greatest memories from my childhood and time there was the music program with you, James and Sofia! It’s crazy to sit here and reminisce because when you’re a kid, you’re having so much fun and taking all of this music and experiences in, but it’s not until you’re older that you really appreciate it all and you realize how AMAZING it was that you three were able to have a whole ensemble of children execute so many different types of pieces of music, all of the performances… everything! I just wanted to reach out and say thank you! For some of the best memories of my life. I’m sure many feel the same. Take care!”


The sheer number of kids who could write this same letter, the large number of those who have written similar ones, is AMAZING!  Ha ha! Actually, it kind of is. I think many people in their chosen profession have never gotten or will ever get a letter like this, never mine a few hundred to them. Of course, I hope they do and it's not a number's competition, but amidst the stories of packing up instruments in the rain at midnight after the Spring Concert, writing the play scripts on the plane home from the Conferences, fighting, fighting, fighting to be true to ourselves even with our own people and Orff organizations,, there is the simple fact that we have been blessed to do work that brings joy and happiness to children that follows them long into their adult lives (my 60 year old students I touched base with the other day!).


So no better time than Thanksgiving to be thankful for the work that chose us, the school that in spite of all, sustained us and left us alone to work our magic and mostly supported us to do it yet better and further and wider, the kids that came so eagerly to our classes and (mostly) left happier than when they walked in and then the cherry on top— the rare, rare gift of doing it all together, not only at school, but in Carmel Valley, Salzburg, Thailand, Ghana, AOSA Conferences and beyond and doing it for so long and doing it with so much fun together and love and admiration for each other's work— well, that is indeed something to be thankful for, tomorrow and each and every day. We stay loyal to that which keeps the needed conversations growing ever-larger and that's a good description of our intertwined lives. May it continue!


Love from your grateful colleague,



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