As I reflect on so many facets of being a music teacher, I am often reminded of the marvelous words of A. A. Milne, who had Winnie-the-Pooh state so profoundly, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” How lucky, indeed. On so many levels, as teachers, “saying goodbye” is hard, but as Winnie-the-Pooh reminds us, how lucky are we to spend our lives doing something so wonderful. Saying goodbye to students at the end of a particularly terrific rehearsal, class or lesson is hard. So is saying goodbye at the end of each school year. And ultimately – and take this from this recently retired teacher – the end of our career at a school is hard. But Winnie-the-Pooh understood. That cuddly little bear truly understood that the sadness is only felt because of the joy our students bring us, the joy our art brings us, and yes, the joy our career brings us. I guess for each of us, as teachers, the trick is to savor each moment and realize what makes saying goodbye so very difficult and sad is actually the happiness we experience every day. How lucky indeed!

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft, Director of Education for KHS America, is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.” Dr. Boonshaft was selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, where he is Professor Emeritus of Music.