I would like to take this moment to thank every music teacher I’ve ever had.

I was thankful before, you know. My music teachers have been awesome. They’ve opened up doors for me, helped me become so much more comfortable with myself, and, at times, even served as somewhat of a makeshift therapist for me. Music teachers are awesome. I remember Ms. Ward in first grade, who taught us to sing our songs for the Thanksgiving and Christmas pageants in grade school. I remember Mrs. Gaines, who would tell us stories about what it would be like to perform in an opera with a tenor singing in her ear (complete with pretty accurate actions to go along with everything) and then teach us all how to do Irish dances (and all of us did them, even the boys, which is a pretty big deal in middle school). I remember Mr. Wood, who has always been somewhat of a personal cheerleader for me. Music opened up doors for me that weren’t necessarily related to jobs or careers, but they were related to my self-confidence and the way I viewed myself as a person.

The reason I feel so thankful right now is that I’ve lived and hung out with a bunch of music majors for the past few years at Loyola, and I can’t help but admire their passion and work ethic. I watch them go to bed late at night and get up early in the morning so that they can get in a few more minutes of piano practice. I watch them do their theory homework, which makes almost no sense to me. I watch them practice conducting–everywhere. While watching TV. While brushing their teeth. In the middle of conversations.

And then I watch them perform. And they are magnificent.

I realize that Ms. Ward and Mr. Wood and all my music teachers were like them, once. They essentially spent a significant portion of their higher education in training to help silly and awkward kids like me feel good about themselves. So I thank them. And I thank my music friends, because watching them conduct while talking to me is hilarious and distracting and it just gives me hope about life in general. Even if they don’t realize it, they teach me new things everyday.

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