Dear teacher, mentor, and most recently, friend,
Words cannot begin to describe how thankful I am for you.
Since second grade, you have been my favorite teacher. Since third grade, I have wanted to be a teacher, a music teacher, and even though I may not be majoring in music, that dream is still in the back of my mind.
You helped me grow, to break out of my comfort zone and be able to perform in front of others. You were always excited for me to share a new song I learned on the piano with the class. If it weren't for you and your excitement to hear me play for the class, I probably never would have had the courage to accompany the choir from 7th-12th grade.
I also give you a lot of credit for my love for theatre. Yes, I had been in a few shows before 5th grade, but I mark Aladdin as the start of my love for being on the stage. I was terrified to sing my solo every show, but being able to look out and see you conducting and giving me cues helped me get through it. Since then I have been in 32 shows, including directing one and being the musical director for two.
My favorite, and honestly my only, memories from elementary school have involved you.
From class: Watching high school musical for the first time, thinkling, tititorea, and playing fun games like the cup song
From lunch: Splatter painting posters with markers and playing Wii Music or that other Wii game that I went out and bought because of playing it at lunch but can't remember the name of.
I find myself to this day singing some of the silly 4th/5th grade chorus songs, like Shake the Papaya Down.
Thank you for giving me the amazing opportunity to shadow you and conduct the 4th grade chorus. Seeing the way you dealt with certain situations, like getting a shoe thrown at you, has helped me when working with kids.
I look up to you as not only a teacher, but also as a role model, and now, as a photographer. Thank you for always being someone to talk to and always willing to give me advice.
And finally, I want to thank you for introducing me to my college. I had three two other teachers that went to Mansfield, but even though the one had talked about it before, I never knew it existed until you mentioned it to me. Knowing you had gone there, and later knowing that two other influential music teachers had gone there, I knew I had to check it out. I fell in love with it as soon as I stepped foot on that campus, despite my first impression of walking up so many stairs. Since being at Mansfield, I have had so many amazing opportunities that I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else, including singing in Carnegie Hall, touring Europe with the choir and winning gold in the Harmonie festival, joining my sorority that has taken me to St Louis and given me much more. And most importantly, Mansfield has brought me to my best friend.
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.