Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and it's the perfect time to be grateful for the teachers in your life. Our teachers do a great deal to shape who we are as musicians and to help us get where we want to go. They use their free time and resources to help us because they believe in the value of educating the next generation.
But it's not only private teachers who help to mold you into the musician you are. Band directors, music theory and history teachers, and performers who visit your school to give a masterclass can be equally (or more) influential. Chamber coaches and teachers of other instruments often have valuable insight to give, too.
This gratitude also rightfully extends to teachers who work outside of the field of music. Be thankful for teachers of other subjects who let you miss class for a band lesson or let you make up classwork you missed because you were playing in a music festival. This is inconvenient for them but they recognize the value of music in the lives of their students.
Learning music is an apprenticeship, and we would lose this amazing tradition if not for the tireless work of those who come before and show us the way.
This post is dedicated to all my teachers, especially the four flute teachers I have worked with in my career: Cynthia Livingston, Berta Frank, Kenneth Andrews, and Vanessa Mulvey.