It’s me, again. My name is Hannah Collins, an Erskine Grad (class of 2014) and a Chorus Teacher in the making.
Recently, Gospel Choir held a concert during which the newest member of our Erskine family, El Presidente, was asked to bless the concert with a closing prayer. In the midst of his prayer the following statement was made, “We pray our lives might be songs.” Mind blown! There is so much truth to his personal conviction and I am determined to carry it with me both outside and inside my classroom and wherever my feet may take me. Our words spoken or sung impact the world around us. Our views projected or performed paint a powerful picture for those tuned in to our station.
My challenge to you, dear Reader, is to pause your playlist and contemplate the song you are singing to the world around you. Is it one of comfort and joy? Or complacency? Do you share your blessings or do you complain about your troubles? No, we can’t all be Positive Polly’s but at some point in our life we must realize that someone is listening. Our audience may not consist of the roaring crowds that welcomed the Beatles to America (er..United States of), but there is an audience and they are fine tuned to your station.
What you have been given today you will learn to cherish tomorrow only after yesterday has made them inaccessible.
Yesterday I walked the halls of Erskine’s Music Department and had my pick of six uprights and three baby grands. Today I choose between two uprights and that based entirely off of which one is less out of whack than the other. Yesterday I was the student blaming the professor for my lack of learning. Today I am the teacher striving for that one student to see their importance and purpose, being blamed for their lack of learning. Yesterday I was the voice complaining about the choral selection. Today I am the Choral Director whose choral selections have undergone much harsh criticism. Yesterday I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshmen. Today I am a humbled post-grad wishing for yesterday to live it all again but this time make the right choice; sing the right songs.
Allow me to close with the following:
One of my students recently decided to vent some of her feelings and frustrations. She began by saying, “Ms. Collins, I’m just going to be honest with you, and truth hurts!” I prepared myself for a full-on verbal beating. She continued, “I loved (former teacher) more than any other person in this Chorus! And she connected with us. She did.” I waited…any moment now there would be that final blow to crush me. “But…you have done more with us. You taught me that I can learn to sing without following (student) all the time! That I have a voice and that my voice should be heard. You came in here and when I said I couldn’t, you said I could! (Former teacher) never did that.”
That moment exists only because on days when I said I could not there was always a faculty member saying I could. They taught me to be set apart; to be heard above the noise; to think and rethink my purpose. Always take the road less traveled and NEVER settle for the path of least resistance.
“We pray that our lives might be Songs.”
So, what song have you been singing these days?