Guest Post: “Music Was My Thing”

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.