So I’ll just say upfront this blog is probably going to be all over the dang place. It’s one of those “I need to clear my head and this is how I’m going to do it” type things.
I was talking to my dear friend Julia earlier today about our kids and their violin lessons.
It sparked a snowball of thoughts that I just feel like I need to put out there.
I stated in my last blog that I feel pretty far away from the Lord right now. I know He is there. He’s always there. But it’s a dry period in my relationship with Him. I seem to be in a fog a lot of the time lately, and that goes for every relationship I have. Anyway, I also stated that looking back over the situation I talked about in my last blog, I could see His fingerprints all over the place. I will say His faithfulness is 100% evident in what I’m about to talk about as well.
I’m just going to say outright I absolutely hated the violin growing up. There wasn’t one thing about it I liked. If you know me at all you know I hate being the center of attention, so performing at all was completely sickening to me. I had a couple of teachers I loved, but there were also a few who made it absolutely miserable for me.
My parents made me play and that’s why I did. Period.
At some point it was decided I would be going to Baylor. I didn’t make that decision, but that’s how it was going to be. And because I was going, I would need a scholarship so music is what I was going to be studying. Again, not my choice but that’s how it was going to be. So I got a scholarship and went to study music. Little did I know how my life would change.
Y’all. Baylor was the best thing in the world for me. I remember leaving Amarillo and starting over all on my own. It was amazing. I suddenly had a violin teacher I absolutely loved. I was in a symphony that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I met people who were just like me. I grew as a musician and as a person. That was NOT the path I would have chosen. But God knew. He knew.
I think a lot of the reality of how awesome music is hit me after September 11, 2001. We had a Baylor Symphony concert shortly after that. We were playing Tchaikovsky’s 6th. If you’re familiar with that symphony, you know how emotionally wrenching the last movement is. It seemed perfect for the occasion.
Our conductor (and one of my biggest musical heroes for the way he changed my life with his love and his guidance) got up at our dress rehearsal and said, “Take everything you felt that morning and pour it into this piece.” And I did. And it healed a part of my soul. And I realized....music has power. As I got to perform more amazing music, I felt more confident. More beautiful. More human. More alive. More worthwhile. I got to play some of the most beautiful music in the world. It’s not something I take for granted.
Now I teach. God KNEW all those years ago. He knew when my dysfunctional family was falling apart and I watched my mom slip further and further into her deep depression. He knew when my dad would go out of town for at least a week every month and mom would sleep the days away. He KNEW. He knew that someday I’d have kids of my own, and they would need to see me do better than that. He knew, although depression is something I’ve always struggled with, that music would be one of my biggest healers.
Music would lead me to the career I have now. It would lead me to some of my best friends; my mentors; my students whom I love like they’re my own kids. He took care of me when I didn’t even know it. Isn’t He amazing like that?
I hope to God I will be the teacher who changes someone’s life like those Baylor professors did mine. When I was falling apart on the inside and had no idea how to ask for help, they knew and helped me anyway. They changed my life.
In less than a month I’ll go back to work. It’ll be my sixth year at SJCA; my 15th year teaching music. I’ll see those little faces that brighten up my life now. They’ll walk into my classroom and forget about everything else for 45 minutes that day. We will laugh together, grow together, make music together, worship together. And maybe, just maybe, someday they’ll write a blog about a teacher who changed their life when she taught them to love music.