I am very excited to welcome Arah Allard as a guest on my blog!
Music was my thing. A childhood of lessons and practicing, performing and competing. By high school, my identity was completely wrapped up in my flute playing. I was the girl up in the school attic practicing during her free period. I took all music electives and by the time I was ready for college, my career path seemed obvious. Music was my thing.
I pursued a music performance degree in college. I was going to be a concert flutist, or maybe establish a soon to be famous woodwind quintet. Never- I repeat never- would I TEACH. One afternoon, my father asked a favor of me. His colleague had a daughter that wanted flute lessons. Out of obligation more than anything else, (my father had paid for how many of my lessons?) I agreed.
I will never forget that very first flute lesson. The feeling of connection and wonder at helping someone else do something, even as simple as blow across the mouthpiece of a flute, stunned me. I was shocked to find it surpassed even my joy of playing.
That week, I added a 2nd major to my degree. I knew I had to become a music teacher. After two more years, I had my first job teaching middle school band. Being a music teacher was rewarding and I completely understood that I would never- I repeat never- teach in a general education classroom. Music was my thing. Through many more years and several states, I found myself the music teacher at an elementary school. Sadly, the funding dried up and the program was to be cut. I adored the school and was crushed to leave. One credit shy of a general education teaching credential, I got into gear and finished. My school hired me as a third grade teacher.
There was a crushing letting go. I owed my path in life to my love of music. I had to practice saying it out loud- I was no longer a music teacher. It has now been 8 years of teaching third grade. It is challenging and inspiring work that I am grateful to have the chance to engage in every day. I have come to believe that TEACHING is my thing. And I owe that to music.
Arah Allard teaches third grade in Del Mar, California. Music continues to soothe her soul every day. Check out her teaching blog at arahallard.com.