I had really good rehearsals today. I've been at this long enough to recognize that I usually have a burst of inspiration upon returning from our All State Convention. Do you notice this as well? I bet you probably do. You might have heard a great ensemble, or attended a session and picked up some great ideas. Upon returning to school you feel energized, and your students respond immediately. It's an awesome feeling. The question is, why can't we sustain it?
In my 25 Things About Music Teaching and Education I talk about the fact that great teaching takes energy. There is no doubt in my mind. Think of the teachers in your life that you respected the most, and chances are they were energetic. I know when I'm teaching my best because at the end of the day I am exhausted. Not in a bad way mind you, it's a good kind of tired (if you feel "beat up" at the end of the day that's another matter altogether). The next time you feel exhausted at the end of the day, think about your rehearsals and you'll probably find that you were really teaching well. Your rehearsals were focused, you knew what needed to be accomplished, and the students were with you all the way. It's so exciting that you'd think we would want those kind of rehearsals every day. But it's really hard to sustain, which is why a few weeks after All State I'm usually back to wondering why my rehearsals are lagging in comparison.
This year, I'm going to try to keep the ball rolling by continuing to give just that little bit extra. The students deserve it.