As an educator, my life is spent building the skills of amateurs – helping them to grow in knowledge, technique, and insight.

One weekend a year, though, I get to work with pros to support my students…and I’m reminded what it’s all for.

Professionals see the big picture immediately. They interpret not at the note-by-note level, but at the piece-level, understanding immediately the form, feel, etc. My band last night sightread an tune on stage – and it worked perfectly.

Professionals have flexible thinking. When a student misses an interlude in the heat of the moment, or goes back to a different spot than expected, all it takes is a quick nod between band members and they settle right back in with them. When they misread a D.S. or are asked to change the key, they adjust and make it work.

Professionals support those around them. They help each other with clear and subtle communication. If they have a sub for one night of performances, they anticipate challenges on the page and give their sub careful and helpful markings in the music. Most of all, they support the students – sensing what the student needs, whether it’s help on the melody, a clearer sense of time, or on the opposite side, space to allow musical freedom.

Tonight is the last night of the Rockford Choirs Cabaret – join us tonight at 6 & 8 for a great show!