Each week throughout this current school year, 53 students, arriving for lessons, stepped over the threshold that leads into my home. This number does not include the accompanying parents, siblings, and sometimes, friends.

I have eleven seniors this Spring, and six of these students have been with me since they were ages 5-7, beginning their musical careers with piano lessons. That is a good deal of threshold crossing into my home for each of these students!

This is always one of my favorite times of the year. And, it is always one of my least favorite times of the year.

It is exciting because there are so many musical productions, concerts, auditions, and other wonderful activities that accompany the full arrival of Spring. The air always seems so energized.

However, as my fellow teachers can attest, it is also a bittersweet time of the year.  Our “kids” have grown up, are ready to graduate, and step across the lesson-threshold one last time. As I sit through these final performances of musicals, concerts, and a few commencement ceremonies, there is always a point when my mind retraces the years with each student. I am terribly happy for them, but a little wistful that our last few moments together as student and teacher are nearing.

The past several weeks I received six emails from former students who are graduating college. They are preparing to step over another threshold for the final time.  Two will graduate with music education degrees, and four with musical theatre degrees.

It is refreshing to receive their feed-back, and to know that many of the seeds of their successful high school, and collegiate years were planted in my ten-by-ten study. I am so excited for their futures, and will follow them closely as I do countless other students who are now teaching, or performing, or writing, or directing.

To my current high school seniors, and the dozen-plus former students graduating college… I am proud of each of you, and am grateful for the many hours spent together in lessons.  As you stand at this current threshold, transitioning into college, or career, savor the moment – even if you are a bit scared. This is one of the most exciting moments of your life!  And remember, there will be many more thresholds to cross.  Celebrate each one.  

Know you are loved…

Mr. Haas

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