Monday, February 23, 2015

What's In Your Desk Drawer? Day 16

Is that a banana chip?

This well-worn guitar pick is in my desk drawer amidst a tangle of paperclips and rubber bands. I know I've had this one for quite a while because the point is rounded and the printing is completely worn off. I must have used this one quite a lot.

I started playing the guitar at age 16. I can play all right...but I'm no rockstar. I can play almost anything that I have chords for, but I'm just strumming along, you know? I'm not the lead guitar in the band, if you will.

Music has always had an important role in my life. I credit my parents for this: we always had a lot of music in our house, and I was encouraged to sing, to take piano lessons, to take up an instrument for the school band in 5th grade (hooray for the baritone!), to join choir...and to start playing the guitar when marching band and concert band didn't fit into my schedule anymore in high school because of all the other courses I wanted to take.

(As a side note, I try to live life without regrets, but one thing I really do regret: quitting piano after just three years of lessons. So take that as a lesson kids...don't give up on it!)

I'm thankful that I took up the guitar. The guitar is a bit more portable than a piano anyway.

My first guitar.
It hangs on my office wall.
Call it art, I suppose.
I kept a guitar in my classroom for most of the years I taught in middle school. I didn't play it every day, but I played it often enough. The kids loved the music--at least for the diversion, but I often tried to use music as part of lessons too. (Need to memorize something? Let's make up a song!)

I still have that first guitar I got at age 16. It's in rough shape after all these years, but I keep it hanging on the wall of my office now. And I do still play it once in awhile, though it now goes out of tune after about 5 minutes of strumming. But I can't get rid of it--the music is a part of me, and so I keep a pick in my desk drawer, just in case I need to grab it and play a little.

Mostly when I play, I make a joyful noise. I have a song in my heart, and it comes out of my mouth and my hands. But as I've said, I'm no rockstar. No one is paying money to come to my show...and I don't actually have a show. This guy's never going to be a big rockstar.

Music is a big part of my life. And because of that, it has an impact on my teaching practice. I still usually start class with music playing (recorded, and not by me.) I almost always have music playing in my office when students stop by to visit. And...I do occasionally still bring my guitar to class. My college students don't even roll their eyes too much.

Sometimes they even sing along.


(This post is part of a series about the weird stuff teachers have in their desk drawers. You can read more about this project here, and I hope you'll share the stories of the weird stuff you have in your desk too!)

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