When I was graduating from Ohio State’s School of Music, I was told that when interviewing for a music position in a school to avoid using “I”. For instance, if the interviewer asked me, “Why do you want to be a teacher?”, my go-to answer should not be: “I love children”, or “I love teaching”. We were to formulate less self-centered replies, even if those examples seemed very unself-centered to me.
Well, first, I can honestly say I didn’t start teaching because I loved to teach, though I did – and do – love children. I started teaching because I love music, I love my instrument, and I thought it would be the coolest way to pay the bills. However, what I have reaped from teaching has been so much more rewarding than I could have ever dreamed.
If someone asked me now, why I became a teacher, it is still the same. But if someone asked me why I continue to teach, the answer is this: I continue to teach because music has warped my life beyond recognition. It has made me a better, more joyful, life-filled person. A beautiful piece of music still has the magic ability to stop my heart, give me goosebumps, and glaze my eyes with nostalgia and wist, even after all these years. I never tire of it. And seeing my passion and my joy reflected in the eyes of my students is a treasure indeed. That’s a lot of my’s, and maybe that’s a self-centered answer. I don’t know. What I do know is that I still have the coolest job in the world.