Robert Shaw opened a series of letters, addressed to the often non-professional musicians with whom he worked, with the salutation "Dear People". At the core of his musical leadership stood a value on the humanity we experience in making music. The past several weeks have been personally and professionally trying for me, but the humanity of each situation and focus on people contributes directly to the finding of resolve. I'm not alone in this experience.
A grade ten student, Shannon, with whom I have the immense privilege to work, recently spoke out at a public budget hearing held by the Vancouver Board of Education. She spoke passionately about the role of music education in her personal growth. She characterized music education as being the source of her resiliency. I want the world to hear her speak. Dr. Ed Wasiak's response to oft-asked questions about music education advocacy focused, quite appropriately, on work that would advance the value of music education to a point where advocacy was no longer required. His words stay with me every day and I thank him for that. Shannon took us one step toward this ideal. Music Monday takes us one step toward this ideal. We each have an opportunity to take a step forward. Will you?
It is the people in our profession that make the experience gratifying and uplifting. Mentorship, collegiality, and professional community are the foundation of what we, as educators, work to achieve. For four months, the duration of my practicum, I spent time each day learning from Mr. John M. Trepp. It is the humanity of music making and music education that galvanized the purpose of each rehearsal and lesson. I choose to thank him and celebrate his memory by employing the message in my teaching. He was friend, colleague, and mentor to so many fine educators. He was ready for a laugh, intent on tuning the chord, and steadfast in his care for the people around him. I will miss him.
Holly Nimmons, along with the staff, board, and volunteers of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, share a similar fervour for bringing people together to celebrate music making and music education. This 10th anniversary of Music Monday reminds us that Canada's leadership in music education is profound--our research community, our publications, our advocacy work. We share it with the world. Please join me in congratulating the Music Monday team and accept this challenge: write a letter, send an email, or make a phone call to someone who deserves your appreciation for the humanity he or she infuses into our profession and community. If these messages can expand the scope of mentorship and humanity in our community, this is how we'll thank Shannon, Dr. Wasiak, the Coalition, and Mr. Trepp for their guidance and wisdom.
Canadian Music Educators' Association/
L'Association canadienne des musiciens educateurs (CMEA/Acme)
"Together We Are the CMEA/ACME
-Promoting Excellence In Music Education"