I quit writing teaching stories after I became a high school teacher (though I certainly have not quit having story-worthy experiences, rest assured), but here’s one from back in my private teaching days about finding myself conducting a high school orchestra (and another couple stories to boot below):
They Locked Me Inside and Made Me Conduct Violas! – You never know what’s going to happen to you when you go into a school setting. Be prepared for anything, and realize that students can be like sharks circling in the water when put in a room with a substitute teacher.
Auditioning is a Rotten Pastime – This is a story about my experience auditioning for the San Jose Symphony. This audition was a total disaster in every respect, and it is a great example of just how badly this process can be run. This story was featured in the Winter 2007 edition of Double Bassist magazine.
Massive Musical Disaster in the Nutcracker Pit – Musical performances are always at risk of having a train wreck–that’s part of the excitement of live performance. But rarely do performances derail this badly, and in as humorous a way as what is recollected in this story. Have you ever heard an audience of 1500 laugh at a musician’s mistake? We had this happen in the Nutcracker Pit for the Milwaukee Ballet.