Skydiving

SMUS-Views-Bob

I confess that skydiving is not on my bucket list, a fact I shared with the rest of the participants in our review of the music program. Others in the group were keener to skydive; like our students, we all have different wishes and fears. The goal of this review is to think five or ten years ahead, and ensure that our students’ experience of music remains as vital and excellent as it is now. We are starting from a good place.

The first exercise at our first meeting was to select a quotation from cards spread around the room. Since everyone had to choose one, and there were only so many to go around, there was a bit of urgency. I was lucky: the second quotation I came across I happened to recognize, and snatched up. “You are the music while the music lasts.” It’s a line from T.S. Eliot’s poem, “Four Quartets”, a work that has tended to migrate in and out of my consciousness, kind of like the seasons. The full quotation will resonate with many music lovers:

…music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.

There were a couple more poetic quotes, quotes about iPods, quotes from musicians, and, I think, a couple of lines from rock stars – I didn’t get far enough to read them all. All the quotations were starting points to consider the intersection of what music means to us individually and what it means to the school. What it means to the school is pretty well equates to what it means to the students, an equation that is always the foundation stone for our thinking and planning. The skydiving we consider will be purely metaphorical.

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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden is Head of School at St. Michaels University School.

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