Summer 2016: Let the Rainbow Shine

Let it go,
Let it out,
Let it all unravel,
Let it free and it can be
A path on which to travel.

Music educators and their journey towards becoming a model that is both sound and inspiring seems to be a never ending saga. Each year a large number of dedicated individuals come together to strive towards becoming a good musician and a great teacher. At times this goal of a good musician is muddy. We see those in the more advanced stages and compare ourselves. A good musician as defined by many possesses the skills as well as the ability to adapt to fit into any given circumstance. As a member of the education strand at summer school, we see direct comparison with musicianship levels. I must admit that as soon as I get a whiff of  any competition I am like a dog with a bone. Given the challenge I will find a way to rise to it. This year I felt very different about my experience. Six summers in and I finally understand that it is okay to be at a different stage in my journey than someone else is, regardless of teaching experience or age.


I realised that no one truly cares what my grades are except me. A good friend of mine made this point to me while waiting for our daily coffee. She stated very profoundly that sometimes we need to decide that perfect isn’t achievable in every subject, sometimes you have to settle for second best and focus on your wellbeing as well. Her point made me consider that I was okay with whatever grades I received. I know that I did what I could have, and that’s all I can expect. Like many, I got in there and gave it a go. The act of trying is enough considering I am on my journey.


I remember coming home and sitting at the piano mid-week two. I placed my musicianship scores on the piano, sat down and started working away at them. Mistake after mistake I exclaimed to the household that I was not capable of performing the tasks. My lack of technique would be my downfall and I was a failure. My sister walked over to me and told me that I knew what I was doing. Her acclamation of my knowledge, her unwavering support placed me back in good stead. I worked. The mistakes still present, but I worked. I gave it a go.

Luckily I was pleasantly surprised by my grades. The attitude of giving it a go worked.


By the end of the two weeks, we all remember that the essence summer school is home. Come as you are, do what you can do, learn something and work hard. The final day is very special.

  • I’m not sure if it is an automatic relief of the two weeks of pressure and stress.
  • I’m not sure if it is sadness because the two weeks are over.
  • I’m not sure if it is because I am overwhelmed by the sound and connection.

…but I’m always a blubbering mess by the time we sing the final song for the last time. Given the experience it’s quite sobering. I think it is important to realise that we are all on a path on which we are travelling. I’m not sure where the path is going and sometimes I feel like I’m being lead up the garden path…but it’s important to realise there is a path.


Here’s to continuing to continue down the path of becoming a good musician. Summer 2017 is signposted on my path.





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