I recently spoke at a start-of-the-new-school-year professional development day for a very large school district. It was the first day back for the teachers. As I surveyed the room, it was clear that the range of experience was as wide as you’d expect. I came to find out that many teachers were starting their very first year in the profession, and at the other extreme, one gentleman was about to start his fortieth – and last – year. At the start of the day, during the welcome and announcements, the supervisor of music congratulated that seasoned veteran teacher on his tenure and asked him to offer a few words to the staff as they began the year. I sat in anticipation wondering what he would say. His advice: “Your career will happen in a blink. Take time to enjoy it.” As many of us start another school year, we might do no better than to remember his words and savor every minute we get to teach music. With everything that needs to happen in the early weeks of a new school year, it’s easy to lose sight of that, and of what is truly important in our profession.

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.