It's early June, and graduation is in the air. (I'm still trying to get used to this, of course; it wasn't all that long ago that my schools would be done by Memorial Day.) And since I work with high-schoolers in my private teaching studio, that means it's always time to give a quick shout-out to those who are doing "the walk" this week.
So best wishes to Andrew**, Cameron, Chris**, Jeff***, Kaleigh*, Kyle*, Nathaniel**, Nick*, and Rene*. While the vast majority of you haven't chosen music as a major, I'm encouraged to see that several of you will continue to play in college. But no matter what your immediate future holds, remember to hold music close to your heart, and remember that the discipline you learned going through the school band program will serve you well in future endeavors. (And as some of my older students at the college will remind you, even if you stop playing for a while, you can always come back--even after forty years!)
And if you're wondering about all the asterisks, it doesn't mean my keyboard is broken again (yay). It's just that this year, there were so many long-term students that I felt obligated to point out that fact. Those with a single asterisk after their name studied with me for six years (usually seventh grade through graduation); those with two asterisks were with me for all seven years of secondary school.
Normally, that's all I'd need, but one of this year's seniors started a year early, in the summer before fifth grade, where he thrived despite having no band class in (elementary) school during that first year and ended up being one of my top players throughout his entire school career. He gets three asterisks, and it's a record not soon to be broken; since nobody in my current studio started that early, the next occasion where I could possibly be typing this same paragraph would be for someone in the Class of '17 (yikes!), and that would be if an incoming fifth-grader started sometime in the next couple months. (And said fifth-grader would only be two years older than my oldest nephew.)
Congratulations, graduates! I do a pretty good job of keeping up with my alumni, so I'm bound to see some of you before long.