A Thank You To My High School Music Teacher
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A Thank You To My High School Music Teacher

Thank you for believing in me when I doubted myself.

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A Thank You To My High School Music Teacher

Growing up, I was always known as a shy, quiet girl.

I minded my own business, treated others with kindness, and stayed out of trouble. My anxiety at school was always very high and I was afraid to really be myself around my peers. The one place that I was able to truly express myself was in music class or band practice, and it was all thanks to my teacher Mr. Mummert.

I first met Mr. Mummert in 5th Grade when I joined concert band.

Along with several other students, I played the alto saxophone and was nervous, but also very excited to improve my musical skills. It was the first day of the band and I instantly liked Mr. Mummert. He seemed so cool to me and he had a way of making all of us scared little 5th graders feel comfortable in a room full of older, more experienced kids. When I went to band class it was like all of my anxieties and stress disappeared because I knew that his class was a safe space. Mistakes were allowed and silliness was only frowned upon if it disrupted our rehearsal, otherwise, it was welcomed. It was a place where I was free to be myself.

Fast forward to my high school years, and the music room continued to be my happy place.

Every incoming high school freshman is always a little bit scared about transitioning up to the high school setting, myself included. However, I knew that I had Mr. Mummert's band class to turn to for some familiarity and fun at the end of the day. I actually decided to try out jazz band as well as concert band and I absolutely loved it. As years went on, I grew more comfortable in my own skin and started to care less about the way others looked at me or thought of me. Although this is due to some personal work on my part, I have Mr. Mummert to thank for guiding me along the way. He always taught us that we needed to let go of any self-doubt that we carried within us and feel free to make mistakes. My band director taught me to look at mistakes as lessons and a place for improvement rather than as personal failures. Especially in jazz band class, he taught us to let loose and to let the music be our outlet for any negative thoughts we had going on in our minds during improvisations. Even if someone's improv was a little rough, he would clap for the player or maybe laugh it off like it was a genius act of comedy. He has a way of making everyone's mistakes seem wonderful, no matter how bad it sounded. Then when anyone perfected a part of the music that was more challenging and mistake-prone, he would praise you like you just won some sort of prestigious award. He would say something along the lines of "Yeah, there you go! You got it! You go girl." Every day that I had him as my teacher, he inspired me to ignore the judgment of others and to let go a little, which was something that I struggled with immensely. I learned how to feel empowered creatively and as a human being trying to make it through life.

To this day, I still think about the lessons I learned from him when I begin to second

guess myself.

Now that I'm in college, I feel so much more care-free and like my true self than I ever have before in my life. I know that Mr. Mummert's words of encouragement and wisdom helped get me to the point that I'm at today. He is an incredible teacher who always sees the best in his students, no matter how often they test his patience or how many mistakes they make, and I am grateful to have had him as my music teacher for eight whole years. I have had others put me down for my mistakes and tell me that I was not good enough, so thank you Mr. Mummert for always believing in me and in others and for helping me to build the confidence that I have now. I will always cherish the memories from class and continue to reflect on how your classes made me feel free and happy even on some of my most difficult days. I'll never forget how the lessons you taught me or the way you were so incredibly kind and understanding. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Jenny Carey, your favorite alto-saxophone player:)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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