Different Is Good
Having recently arrived at the coast from Colorado, I have noticed some things are definitely different here on the Oregon Coast. Take, for example, the conversation I had with a few 3rd graders on my first day of school. The first student told me “I don’t like elk.” “Why?” I questioned, “do you not like elk?” She responded, “They come into my backyard and eat all the raspberries and blueberries.” A second student responded, “Your Dad should get a BB gun to scare them away.” This was not a conversation I would have heard in Denver. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it there are no elk wandering through the backyards of residents of the Denver metro area. Also, the fact that every student at St. James school and Neskowin Valley School have a pair of rain boots at school ready for any potentially mucky recess blows my mind. I only purchased my first pair of rain boots a few months ago when I knew I was moving to the Pacific Northwest. Rain boots are not so valuable in Colorado. Snow boots yes, rain boots no.
Despite the wild elk rummaging through fruit bushes and the necessity for rain boots, teaching and experiencing music has the same value on the Oregon coast as it does in the Rocky Mountains. Students may still seem shy and lack confidence when learning a new song and then a day later I will get an email from a parent telling me how their child was singing that very song at home or a group of giggling 1st graders will come up to me after school to sing that very song telling me how they love it. In just a few short days I’ve already begun to see the joy that students emit when learning new rhythms or discovering how to hold their part while singing a round.
I’ve met a lot of great kiddos in this first week and still will be meeting more as private lessons and other music coaching opportunities are starting up. As I’m finishing this first week of teaching on the coast I have to say that I have loved every minute of it! Well, to be completely honest not every minute; I didn’t love the minute when the dancing in the K-2 music class got a little too wild and a few kids were doing the worm on the floor, but hey, you win some you lose some and at least the wild elk didn’t get me.