Why an Amazing Choir Director Absolutely Changes the World
I am a music geek and a theater nerd. There are no bones about it. I adore all aspects of music and musical theater. Life would be so much better if we all broke out into song and dance numbers at a moment’s notice. Well, this may actually happen at my house, but I can’t say we are the norm. Behind every confident, excited musician is a choir director that made it happen. Even better, choir directors don’t only teach music, drama, and dance; they create confidence, joy, and passion from a spark of interest. If you doubt this phenomenon is real, let me provide examples.
Once There Was a Girl and a Choir Director
Once there was a girl who sheepishly chose choir as an elective because she played the piano and loved music. There she met a choir director who said—If you can talk, you can sing, and if you can walk, you can dance. Weeks turned into months, and along came the spring musical auditions. In class, the choir director said, “So I’ll see you at auditions, right?” The girl replied, “Ummm… no, I wasn’t planning on it.” To which the choir director said, “Of course you are. You’ll love it. See you there.” Some people have a tone and a demeanor to which one does not say no.
The first audition turned into a passion for musical theater, and categorically, the best parts of my high school experience were on stage. I found confidence and excitement that nothing else gave me. That first audition led to more auditions, voice lessons, a new piano teacher, and a myriad of new experiences that I would have never dreamed of had I not joined the Freshman choir. To this day, I sing, dance, and adore live performances of any kind. I can say without a doubt a big part of who I am today is because of who my favorite high school choir director was.
New Choir Director and the Next Generation
Fast forward 25 years. There is another girl contemplating the high school musical auditions. Ultimately, she chickens out and does not audition. Three weeks later, the choir director calls for more students to audition. The girl builds up her courage, shows up after school, and the choir director hands out scripts—”You’re in! Let’s get started!” A tiny spark of courage and interest turned into volunteering for small roles and a confidence boost like nothing this mom has ever seen.
When musical auditions came around in year two, the same girl who chickened out on year one auditioned and made it through callbacks. When you have someone who gives you a chance to shine, it’s amazing the light one can produce. Now the girl is constantly trolling the internet for the next musical they should do, passing along ideas to her choir director, who is always eager to hear her student’s thoughts. Good things are happening on the stage today.
Let’s Not Forget Those Teaching the Little Ones
The amazing choir directors of the world are shaping the lives of the big kids, but let us not forget about the music teachers in the trenches with the little ones. I watched a talented, loving musician start a music program from scratch and make it grow into a robust place to learn, explore, and grow. This same teacher chose the ukulele over the recorder and started a revolution of musical exploration.
As parents, we joke about the Christmas of ukuleles because all our kids were asking for one of their own. A simple three years of ukulele turned into acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and electric bass in my home. All self-taught from apps and YouTube and the knowledge acquired learning the ukulele. A little bit of knowledge can spark a lifelong journey of enjoyment.
Next Time You Hear Your Favorite Song
Next time you hear your favorite song or watch a show on stage, take a moment to think about the people who inspired it. Yes, there are talented people born every day, but someone needs to encourage that talent and help it grow. I also challenge you to see what music does for the average person who simply loves it. It is not all about making money and being famous. Music is about finding joy, having fun, and growing in yourself. I silently thank my high school choir director for my love of music and the chance to pass it along to my children every day. I openly thank my child’s high school choir director for all she does for my child. Music is a gift, and so are the people who help us learn how to enjoy it.