Several music blogger friends and I have teamed together in order to collaborate and offer fresh music education ideas using a variety of methodologies and approaches. You can expect to see these collaborations in the coming months here on my blog. However, before diving into music education topics, we thought it would be fun to organize a blog hop with a giveaway. Our aim is to get to know our readers a little better while also sharing a little bit about each of us!

How will this blog hop benefit you?

#1. Getting to Know You

  • We want a chance to get to know you! Understanding our current and past experiences helps us to form stronger professional learning communities, and we’d love for you to be a part of it!

#2. Giveaway

  • After you’re finished with the hop, you can enter a giveaway for your chance to win lots of teacher goodies that are sure to make you smile! Simply leave a comment with an answer to the highlighted question at the bottom of this post. Then, do the same at each blog hop stop. When you reach the end of the blog hop, you’ll be able to enter the giveaway for your chance to win!
The winner will receive some paper goodies to stay organized…

an inspirational quote block for your desk along with a book that is sure to keep you laughing till your spring concerts; complete with very sweet, but very wrong test answers from students….

Describe the term stakeholder.
“A vampire hunter. Buffy being the most famous.”

some practical items such as hand sanitizer and a glass jar to store your pencils and…

magnetic clips, paper clips, binder clips, and push pins.

So, don’t forget to answer the highlighted question at the bottom of this post before hopping to the next blog!Now it’s time for me to answer a few questions about myself:

What state/region you are in?Β 

I live in Indiana, but moved within the state to a larger city just last week. And by “larger”, I mean that there’s several options for restaurants, department stores, and coffee shops. The last town we lived in had a post office and a gas station. Should I mention the swineΒ veterinarian as well? Because that was definitely a thing…
What is your background education/experience?I have a bachelor’s degree in general, instrumental, and choral education K-12. Once upon a time in Indiana, we called this an “area degree”. However, now undergrads must choose one area over another. I was grandfathered in and received the area degree before it phased out.

As a music teacher I spent most of my time teaching elementary music and assisting with the high school band. Because of my degree, I was a musical jack-of-all-trades, and was fortunate to be able to help in all areas of our music programs. After earning my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, I discovered a passion for creating educational resources, which eventually led me to the career of teacher-author/blogger.

What is your most cherished memory as a teacher?

I once had a student whose father was in prison, and had been for quite some time (this wasn’t unusual for the area in which I taught). This particular student was usually pretty shy in class, so I was surprised when she asked to stay after class one day to talk. She told me that she had a song she’d written, and she wanted me to hear it. I dropped everything I was doing, leaned forward in my chair, and said, “Sure! I’d love to hear your song!” What came out of her mouth next was unexpected. Her lyrics were sorrowful, not the raindrops and flowers I was used to hearing about from students. Her lyrics were a description of how much she missed her dad. The words were repetitive and so was the melody, but her use of minor skips and a slow, mournful tempo proved how much effort and meaning she’d poured into her song.

I spent the next few weeks working with her. She wrote down the lyrics and helped me to notate the entire piece on Finale. She was thrilled when she finally received the printed score in her hands. I was proud of how she turned her heartache into something beautiful, but as these moments go in the life of a teacher, that was the last year I had her as a student. She moved, and I never had the chance to say goodbye. Even so, I take comfort in knowing that she found music.

As Maya Angelou famously said “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”

Okay, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment answering the highlighted question below.

What is your most cherished memory as a teacher?

When you’re finished, simply click on the image below to go to the next stop in the blog hop!


32 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, so hard to pick just one! One that immediately comes to mind is a conversation I had with a 6th grade boy last year. He struggled with pretty much everything at school but I noticed from day 1 that he drummed on everything in sight. He was the main reason I started my drumming group that plays on random objects like Stomp. His sense of beat and rhythm was amazing and he was a natural leader in that group! The conversation we had when he thanked me at the end of the year before he graduated was just so amazing. I'll never forget him.

    1. I loved conversations like that. The type that make you feel so connected to the student, as though you've awakened something new in him, and I bet you did just that!! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  2. This is SOOOO hard!!! If I had to pick one, it would've probably be the first time I had a student make All-State Children's Chorus. It was the first year I sent in audition recordings and I didn't know what to expect. The day the results should be posted, I got to school early to log on and check. When I saw her name, I screamed so loudly that the neighboring teachers came to check in me. (I was 6 months pregnant at the time and they were concerned. Lol) I surprised the student by bringing her down to the library for our morning school news broadcast. She had tears of joy and so did I. That moment still brings back warm and fuzzies. πŸ™‚

    1. That is an amazing moment!! I had warm fuzzies just reading about it πŸ™‚ There is little better in this life than seeing tears of joy from a student.

  3. I loved your description of the girls' song-I could hear it! I too have had moments that catch me off guard when students share their deepest feelings about me–you are a really good teacher, Mrs. Hendrickson–and I know they mean it! Thanks for sharing that touching story.

  4. I don't even need to think about this one! During my second year of teaching I had a kindergarten parent come up to me and tell me that when her daughter started at the school she and her husband weren't sure if they liked the school and didn't know if they would keep their daughter there. (It's a charter school so it is a school of choice) She then told me that around Christmas her daughter came home and was humming tunes from the Nutcracker, so she asked her daughter what she was singing and she started talking all about the Nutcracker and what she had learned in music. It was at that moment that they decided to keep her daughter in school.

    As she told me this she welled up with tears, then I started crying, and it turned into a big huggy crying fest. It was the first time I really had a parent thank me and tell me how much I impacted her child and, as a beginning teacher second-guessing herself, it was wonderful to hear her kind words!

    1. That is amazing!! It's so wonderful to hear kind words from parents, and especially those who face a difficult choice. It's great that you made the choice easy for them πŸ™‚

  5. I think one of my most cherished memories as a teacher was the first time I took my students to the Fox Theater in Detroit. I taught at a very small neighborhood school. Almost every child in 4th and 5th grade participated in choir and we were going to "audition" to sing before the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. My students had never experienced an audition, and all but one had never set foot in the Fox Theater. We took school buses down to Detroit and I had a parent go in before them to videotape their entrance. The Fox Theater is a beautiful, historic building with ornate paintings, marble floors, gold leaf finishes – just opulence at every turn. My chatty kids entered the theater and fell silent. Their mouths were wide open and they just stood there taking in the beauty and grandeur of the Fox. It was a moment I will never forget. My kids watched choirs from all over the state audition and heard great music. Then right before our audition, a child vomited on stage. They called us to perform before a custodian could clean it. My kids stood in vomit and sang their hearts out. Also a moment I will never forget. LOL!

    1. I bet your students won't forget that moment or you for allowing them to experience it! My mom still remembers the time she took a field trip in school to see an orchestra concert. Those experiences are priceless! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  6. One of many cherished memories was a first grade class playing glockenspiels and singing, "Star Light, Star Bright" in my classroom. We had set up the form so that the children played a bordun while they sang, then a group would improvise, then repeat. I asked them to choose a wish, and while the group was improvising another group would take turns speaking their wishes. This class was a special class, and they didn't wish for toys or things. They had wishes like, "I wish I could talk to my friend who moved away," and "I wish I could hug my daddy in heaven." The combination of those sweet little voices, the twinkling glocks, and those beautiful wishes is a memory that I will never forget!

    1. I can only imagine! Isn't it amazing how music brings out the best in everyone? And those children definitely knew what was important in life πŸ™‚

  7. One of my most cherished memories happened during my recorder unit this year. I had a student who was usually very reserved- she never wanted to volunteer during singing games and would never even dream of performing a solo. However, for her, something about the recorder just clicked. After the first lesson, she came in telling me all about how she had bought her own recorder (not a requirement in my community as we provide school instruments) and spent time practicing at home. She even asked me when she could play a solo in front of the class! I am so proud of her for finding a musical outlet that spoke to her.

    1. That must have felt amazing. Those type of breakthrough moments are some of my most cherished memories. There's nothing like awakening the love of music in a student. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  8. I am a co-director of our district honor choir. I was out at dinner a couple of weeks ago, sitting at my table reading a book while I ate delicious fajitas and a parent came up to me. The unusual thing was that it wasn't a parent from MY school. It was one of the parents of a girl who had been in our honor choir. She was very kind and complementary and gushed about the work we had done with the choir, the music we selected and the overall product we shared with the parents at the concert. I wish I had asked which school she was from but my brain wasn't operating at maximum capacity – summer, food and a good book had taken over.

    Its always fun and interesting to run into parents and students you already know but its a whole different thing when you are known by parents and students from other schools. I was a little unprepared – I can only hope I was gracious and didn't appear to be the village idiot!!

    1. Wow, that's an awesome compliment! There's no way you could have appeared as the village idiot. It sounds as though your reputation is gold with parents and students. However, I can sympathize with the awkward timing part. Parents always tended to catch me when I was unprepared, but the compliments are always worth it πŸ˜‰

  9. My most cherished memory was attending the high school choir and having a former student come up and say she was going to school to be a music teacher – like me! OMG! Of course, this dates me and how many years I have been teaching. But someone out there wants to be like me? Clearly I did something right! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, you did!! And just imagine how many other students have done the same thing, but never had the chance to tell you πŸ™‚

  10. There have been several moments in my career that have given me "goosebumps" and that "warm-fuzzy" feeling. Last year one of my first grade babes wrote me a little "love letter" after his grade level music program. "Dear Mrs. Bakes (notice he wrote BAKES instead of BATES, lol), You ar my favrit techr. I like wen you play with us and mak me laf. I love music. You ar prity to." Awwwww:) I took this note home with me and it's still hanging in my closet. It's a great reminder of how the things I do daily impact the kids greatly.

    1. I love letters like those! The fact that you make your students laugh is (I think) one of the best compliments a teacher can get πŸ™‚

  11. I had the privilege of having a special needs child in my 6th grade class this past year. He absolutely LOVES music and is blessed with an innate sense of beat and a beautiful singing voice. Even though he had difficulty reading music notation and playing recorder, he participated whole-heartedly in every activity. Our 6th graders performed in a pyramid concert in the fall with several other elementary schools, 2 middle schools and our local high school. His excitement as he watched the groups perform was heartwarming to say the least. When he performed as part of our 6th grade chorus, he gave 100%. The 6th grade class that he was part of was a difficult one, but to their credit, they always treated him with the utmost respect. They cheered him on when he was on their team and never complained when he was given multiple hints so that he could give the correct answer. They never seemed bothered when he played recorder, despite his wrong notes and squeaks. They were always more than willing to welcome him in to their group even though they knew he would need a great deal of one on one help. Their acceptance of him was what made this class special to me, in spite of some serious behavior issues. At the end of the year, this child auditioned to be in our school's talent show. He performed with confidence and had the audience spell-bound. I feel blessed to have been his music teacher.

    1. He was blessed to have you as a music teacher, someone who helped him gain confidence and find his full potential! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  12. I think my most cherished memories are when I have a student who comes in not knowing English and by 5th grade they can sing The Star Spangled Banner as a solo in front of their class! That just brings tears to my eyes every time!

    1. That's awesome! My husband took a few courses on teaching english as a second language, and it's amazing how students rise to meet the challenge despite all the obstacles. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  13. I think my cherished memories are when I see a student have a "lightbulb" moment. Also I love to receive the little notes and drawings. πŸ˜‰

  14. This is REALLY hard, but I have to say it is the impact I had on a 4 year old.
    He had some medical issues, and really didn't enjoy sitting still. He had some sensory issues as well. Coming to music for him was the part of the day he loved best. He responded very well for me and loved coming to music. I was the person who could usually get him to behave, and was, sadly, one of the only people that didn't take it personally when he didn't. After I left the school, his mom got him enrolled in violin lessons because he wanted to be like Stouffer.

  15. My most cherished teaching memory up to this point took place a just a couple years ago with a 5th grade student. This 5th grade student was very apathetic about school work and grades. The only thing that mattered was sports. Even P.E. was not good enough for this student to put effort into. This apathy was supported by the parents who shared similar views. Sports.

    Enter our ukulele unit. I put an uke into this child's hands, and it was like having a different child in class! They were engaged. They were participating. Asking questions. Singing songs. Helping others. I couldn't believe the transformation.

    Concert night. I was sure this student would not show up as music was definitely NOT a priority in this child's home. Oh my gosh! The family came. This child sang and played. They were swaying and "into" the music. The pure joy on their face is one I will never forget. I don't know if this child went on to be involved in anything beyond sports after they left elementary, but I will always treasure that moment where I felt so blessed to be a part of the process in opening this child's mind to something more. This will always be one of my most treasured teaching experiences.

    My Musical Menagerie: Kodaly and Orff Classroom

  16. My most cherished memories are of the kids who misbehave a lot and act like they don't like music, but then I finally find something they love doing in music, and their attitude and behavior change so much.