Thursday, September 16, 2010

From Laurie Orloff, GDYO parent
In the last blog I wrote, I totally omitted thanking one other great resource that has contributed to the success of the GDYO and that is the orchestra directors at the schools where students in the GDYO come from. North Texas has some of the finest public and private school orchestral programs in the nation. I am fortunate to be a teacher in some of these systems. The directors are of the highest professional level and are also very nurturing and caring. It takes a tremendous amount of love, patience and expertise to prepare students in school orchestras to become future musicians.

Becoming a musician depends upon the dedication of teachers and parents and the schools that the children attend. I was very fortunate to grow up in Munster, Indiana, where at the time, the string and music theory programs were very strong and well supported by the school boards and administrations. I had many adults take great care to make sure that I had all the instruction, equipment and opportunities I needed.

Being a musician is one of the greatest gifts that a human being could have in his/her lifetime. I am always telling my students, and my own children who are musicians, that no matter what level they take their music to, that their lives will be so enriched and more fulfilling in many ways than if they hadn't stumbled into music to begin with.

Personally speaking, as a professional musician and teacher, my life is fulfilling beyond measure. The chance to sit in the middle of an orchestra, making harmony with dozens of other people there for the same reason fills the soul with sounds and vibrations that can heal many aspects of the challenging lives we all face. Cares and worries about day-to-day living desist when you are in the middle of a beautiful arrangement of sound in camaraderie with others who have their daily challenges to go through. Equally with teaching, when I am responsible for a child at a given point every week, it makes my heart sing to see smiles, hear a little laughter and then hear the passion that they have when they are working on the music. Performing and teaching bring so much joy in life!

I believe that as human beings, we come into this world with joy, a desire to learn and emulate those who are in our world and as time passes, a desire to make the world a better place. We should always take opportunities to share and inspire others into choosing lives that are as rich and fulfilling as ours. I would doubt that there is even one professional musician who hasn't worked with at least one child in developing his/her musical talent. Most often, we bring into the lessons we teach the knowledge and modus operandi that was used to train us. As teachers, we need to constantly assess the methods we are using and the non musical connection we are making to ensure that our students can use what we are teaching and to feel good about themselves as we are teaching so they can absorb all the wisdom and instruction we have to offer. Children whose teachers infuse the lessons with this kind of love and compassion become not only good musicians, but go on to spreading the joy of making music to those with whom they have contact. And the cycle continues.

Laurie Orloff , Author of How to Handle Your Cranky and Stressed Out Parents: A Teen Survival Guide is a professional symphony violist and string teacher in Plano, Dallas and at Greenhill School.

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