I've been thinking lately (with all the extra time we've had for thinking!) about what makes my Studio so truly itself. What magical thing defines its core identity? I realized I've been teaching for over 25 years now, and it made me wonder: what is the unifying thread that connects all of those students?
My kids have come from Romania, England, Korea, Hong Kong, China, the US, New Zealand, Greece, Lebanon, India, Bermuda, the Canadian west coast, the Canadian east coast, the prairies, the Yukon, the bustling heart of Toronto, the middle of rural Alaska, and right here beside the Atlantic ocean in Halifax. They've been Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, loved sports, loved art, loved science, loved theatre, loved politics... they've been as young as 5 and as old as 95. And I thought, other than a love for music and flute, what in the world do these people all have in common?
It was when I dug out my box of messages and cards they've sent over the years that I found the answer.
From all those scared teenagers who moved here to Canada, not knowing anyone, leaving all their friends behind: I don't know how I would have gotten through this year if it wasn't for my flute lessons.
From the kids who didn't speak any English when they started: This is the one place I can communicate without struggling.
From the kids who are fabulous and quirky and so wonderfully full of character: I know I can always be me here!
From the kids who are hurting: I can always talk to you and know you won't judge me.
They found a sense of belonging here.
My job is to teach music. To help kids ace exams, win auditions & scholarships, perform to a higher standard. But you can't create music without the musician. The whole musician.
That unifying thread that runs through my studio?
The hearts & souls of my kids.