Sometimes we end up in familiar circumstances, even when we believe we have moved on. In my role as a public school music teacher, I have decided to accept an offer and will continue serving in that capacity.
Unfortunately, I am following, yet another, ridiculously rude and unprofessional situation in the class. Musicians – and, specifically, music teachers – get it together.
On my year 20, I walked into a classroom with parts of instruments lying around the room. A clarinet bell over here, a flute head joint on the floor, mouthpieces of various types all around. Piles and piles of papers on every surface. Stacks of unsorted music just lying around. Filer drawers of former students’ music from two or more years ago.
This simply is unacceptable, and it is not the first time I have inherited this type of setting. The gig is overwhelming; I get that. But, there are basic organizational skills we simply must learn. The chaotic condition not only is unsafe from a pedestrian perspective within the room, but it contributes to an overall unhealthy environment. I don’t want to hear how much x, y, or z is needed when the equipment that is available is not cared for. Seriously, parts of instruments lying all over the place, some with no case to be found.
Pass the word — music teachers, band/orchestra directors — clean it up; sort into score order and file away. Teach kids to sort — work it into the class period. It is a great skill that transfers to a broader perspective. Reduce the ‘stuff’ in the room; keep it safe and open.