Alumni Corner: From Student to Teacher

If you are currently enrolled or volunteer, you probably know me as Ms. Sara who sits at the front desk, answers your questions, calls you when your lesson is canceled, or maybe even teaches you how to play the violin or viola, but first, I was a W.O. Smith student.

Sitting at the front desk was strange for me at first because I remember, as a child, being on the other end of this desk and signing in for my lessons. But now as I sit here with a new perspective, watching the comings and goings of students and teachers, and observing my own interactions with my students, I realize just how much this school impacted me growing up.

As a student, I will admit that I was sometimes skeptical of things that my teacher told me. When my form or technique was corrected and it didn’t just immediately become easier or more comfortable I would wonder why the way I was doing it wasn’t right – because it was obviously working just fine for me. As I grew as a musician, I came to understand why I needed to do things a certain way in order to improve. In short, my teacher was right. 

As a teacher, I find myself telling my students the same things that my teacher told me, and I can sometimes see the skepticism in their eyes. I’m not sure when (and I thought it would never happen) but I've come to the realization that I've become my teacher. 

It’s always a strange feeling when you make this realization. You start to see that your teacher saw through all those times that you pretended to practice more than you actually did. You also see that teachers are people who want you to succeed. That’s really the best part about W.O. Smith. Students are matched with teachers who care enough to volunteer their time, and therefore a healthy environment is easily established which nurtures success for the student, not only as a well-rounded musician, but also as a well-rounded individual. 

As an employee of the school, one of the most fulfilling parts of my job is when I see current students impacted the same way I was through not only music itself, but more importantly positive relationships and opportunities.