Annie Saenger: Service 2013-2014

This year I served as an assistant teacher in Rochelle Itzen’s 5th grade flute class.  I worked with the students one-on-one to help them improve both their technique and musicality.  I acted as a second pair of hands for Rochelle so that she could offer every student a pseudo-private lesson during each class period.  Over the year, I saw vast improvement in the kids’ playing ability and watched them progress through the entirety of Suzuki Flute Method’s Book 1.

We are in community each time we find a place where we belong and find we are needed. Peter F. Block

I feel like this quote really addresses my experience with in-school service this year.  I’ve worked as a peer tutor before and I’ve really enjoyed it – the process of teaching another student taught me a lot about myself as well.  I learned what it must be like for my own teachers to deal with the struggles of the student they attempt to help as I worked with my tutees to overcome the obstacles that courses presented.  However, my position as assistant flute teacher gave me a whole new look at my place in the community.  Flute is something that I really care about and that is a part of my identity.  To be able to share it with a crop of young students made me see how to combine my love of performing arts with a passion for service – this was a job that was specially suited to my skills and interests.  It was really rewarding to watch the kids learn how to play and even how to enjoy playing.  And at the end of the year when they played the final piece of the book, the pride I felt made me completely forget that I was doing service.

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