After a very low point last spring when I thought I might give up teaching music altogether, I have discovered this summer that I still love it.

I love helping them make friends.  “Eloise, this is Kristen.  Her favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip. Kristen, this is Eloise.  Her favorite animal is the lion.  Can you each choose a set of alphabet cards? We’re going to play Fine.”

I love the things they say.  “Do you need to see the music?”  “No, I rememberized it.”

I love the look on their faces while they’re learning.  Harry’s lesson partner was sick yesterday, so I taught him Alphabet Scrabble the traditional way — silently.  He was the perfect student: lots of smiles, lots of determination. I’d move the card if it wasn’t placed correctly, and he’d furrow his brow and try again.  In the end, we had a more fluid sense of the musical alphabet and a sprawling puzzle.  “What does it look like?”  “A robot.”  They always say that.

I love their humility, and I love to temper it with pride.  One student had been on vacation for three weeks, but had tried valiantly to practice, visiting bookstores and the Internet to try to track down a forgotten piece. “I’m all screwed up,” she said.  “No, it’s still in your brain somewhere.  We just have to pull it out.”  And ten minutes later, we had.

I love to watch them grow, to see their talent blossom, to know that I was a part of it.  And that’s enough to make me give it one more day.