Every summer, I spend one of the last weeks before the new school year starts traveling with a high school band, teaching at their marching band camp. Every single year, I forget something necessary to living in a dorm, and every single year, I make a trip to Target once we get there. I grab a basket and peruse the $1 aisle, wander through the store picking up small items until, close to the back, I see it…rows of pens and pencils, stacks of spiral bound notebooks and packs of paper as far as the eye can see…it’s the back to school section! Is there anything more exciting? The promise of a new, sharp pencil and a pristine, blank notebook is irresistible to me, and I freely admit it.
I’ll fill that pristine notebook with practice notes, to-do lists, sometimes even little bits of fiction that I feel the urge to write down. In April, the edges will be soft, the binding ragged from tearing out pages, and there will almost certainly be brown, circular stains from the many cups of tea I’ll drink between now and then. But in that first moment, smelling the fresh paper and seeing the empty pages, anything could happen.
This month at the Flute Examiner, we have a selection of articles connected by the idea of starting something new. August and September feel like the natural time to start new projects and embrace new habits. From Amanda’s wonderful interview with Jazz flutist Ali Ryerson to Keith’s excellent audition tips, Danilo Mezzadri’s brilliant Spider Log practice record system and my own thoughts on how to stay engaged in your teaching when you have a lot of students, we hope that you will feel inspired and renewed to start this new school year!
Editor, Flute Examiner