Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the joy of doing what you love.

There's some days where I really let myself LOVE my work.  It's easy to just get it into your head that you aren't going to enjoy yourself because it's just that... work... but when you really let yourself LOVE your work, I bet you'll start really enjoying it!

Isaiah 55:12

The Message (MSG)
 12-13"So you'll go out in joy,
   you'll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
   bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
   exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
   no more thorn bushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
   living and lasting evidence of God."
Isaiah 55:12-13

I think that as little kids we really get this.  We really live with joy, the mountains and the trees singing along with us as we walk.  However, as we get older, that joy seems naive, and the hardness of life kicks in.  Not the physically hard or challenging, but the cold hardness of life and how adults are "supposed to act."

I teach little kids and big kids music, and it really has to be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.  It's not only amazing to see progress in a little child who knew nothing about music and is now playing songs with two hands, but also just to be with the little kids and figure out how they think!

I have a list of why teaching little kids is amazing, but first here's a joke that one of my students told me today, upon walking in my door and meeting me for the first time (first he handing me a folded black piece of construction paper that was stapled together at one end) and here's what he said: "Open it, it's a joke."  I looked at the paper and saw two stick figures one with a tiny head and no hair, and the other with an enormous head and lots of hair, and mutton chops.  "It goes like this," he said, "Knock-knock, whose there? Big fat head.  Big fat head who.  Big fat head, bigger than yours because you're a baby and you don't have any hair, and I do."  When he finished his joke, he almost couldn't stand up straight because of his laughing, and I admit I was laughing pretty hard too!

Here's what I love about teaching little kids music:

  • I love their silliness.  Anything and everything can be funny if you say it a funny voice.
  • I love their open minds.  Anything is valid and reasonable to comment or ask about anything, nothing is embarrassing.
  • I love that shortly after being taught how, they want to do it by themselves, regardless as to whether they'll be able to or not... no fear of failure.
  • I love the quiet serious ones who barely crack a smile when I do something silly.
  • I love the ones who tell ridiculously tall tales and finish them off by saying, "just kiddin'."
  • I love when the little ones use the same figures of speech that their parents use daily, everything from the "Holy Cows!" to the younger sisters who look at their older brothers and say, "Are you listening to the teacher?" in a mommy tone of voice.
  • I love that I can say "criss-cross apple sauce," and they know exactly what I mean.
  • I love that I can sing really silly songs and they listen seriously. 
I could keep writing that list forever, I just love teaching little kids!  Does anyone else have a job they absolutely love?  Try to dwell on the fact that you love it and not that it's work... it will drag you down!
Have an awesome day, and I'm going to get ready for my next student!

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