The Polo Clad Students

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It was the first Tuesday of the school year. I stood at a distance and carefully studied the faces of the polo-clad students filing noisily into the classroom. Behind my welcoming smile, I wondered if it was possible to tell from the way they carried themselves which children would immediately be responsive to the obscure milieu of a new instrument and which would be more difficult to work with. I watched as the kids accidentally banged their cello or violin cases while trying to excitedly squeeze through the door all at once, and then my gaze shifted to a smaller boy at the back of the group. He seemed to be examining the floor.
I sat down. The advisor directed the boy to the chair next to mine. He was to be my student. He wouldn’t look at me.
“Hi! I’m Aubree,” I said in the warmest voice I could manage. “Are you excited to learn violin? I sure can’t wait to work with you!”
He stared at the floor again, swinging his feet. I nervously exhaled. It was going to be a long year.
This is my newest student, Edward. The attached photograph depicts one of our first lessons together. I have grown to deeply care for him since I began teaching him free of charge through an outreach program called Para Los Niños. He represents the potential I see in every child, and on a more personal level, he has deepened my awareness of and gratitude for every person that has been involved in my musical education. Because of Edward, I am quickly developing a vigorous belief that learning an
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