What a revelation!! Every day I come to work here at Americans for the Arts and see the big picture of the arts in America and wonder are we making a difference? Are the arts really that important? And the other night, I think I got my answer.
I went to my son’s middle school’s spring orchestra and band performance and it all came home to me. I couldn’t believe that one teacher, just one, could affect all those kids. I was reminded of just how much we ask our music teachers to do. How do they do it? All those kids learning and paying attention to one person. Ms. Garay is my new hero.
Sometimes we forget why we are doing what we do, but I was so humbled by watching this amazing woman work and affect so many young adults. The arts give these kids a sense of self, build maturity, increase attention span, teamwork, and the ability to do several things at once. Try watching a conductor while blowing on your reed, moving your fingers on your oboes keys, playing in tune and in rhythm. It’s the ultimate in multitasking.
Each day Ms. Garay has the ability to model and teach these kids so many things. How does one teacher get kids to learn to play the oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpets, bassoon, tuba, violin, viola, cello, bass, etc?
So hail to all you teachers out there. Hail to the parents who encourage their kids. And hail to all of you who fight for kids to have the ability to participate and enjoy the arts in schools!!!
As summer begins don’t forget to thank your teachers and teachers don’t forget that we are fighting for you. You have a rest and then come back in the fall to go get ‘em again.
The arts do make a difference so let’s keep fighting the good fight.