It was George Bernard Shaw who famously wrote, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” What Shaw forgot is that teaching is doing. And if you’re looking for a group of people whose unlimited dedication is matched only by their extraordinary skills, I suggest you look no farther than public school music teachers. To me, these teachers are heroes. They take classrooms full of children from all walks of life and with hugely varying skill levels-- sometimes starting as early as second grade-- and day after day, with infinite patience, they teach the children how to play musical instruments, and then how to play them better and better. They give children the gift of music, and they teach the joy that comes from perseverance and accomplishment. Public school music teachers don’t live for the thrill of seeing their names up in lights. They live for the light they see in their students’ eyes, the kind of light that is lit by music.
A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.