Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sharon Thornton Montgomery

Sharon Thornton Montgomery
June 13 at 4:13pm
i agree, shane. He brought class, dignity, and talent and respect to our town, to the school, and to us as individuals. He taught me so many things. so many lessons that i used outside the music room. Whatever you do, do big. He said that to me when i was in 5th grade, you know. i was so afraid to make a mistake that i wasn't putting in my best effort. i didn't want to be embarrassed. he walked up to our row of trumpets and said, "if you are always worried what people think of you, you will be at the mercy of people who are easily distracted, easily swayed, and aren't worth the effort. So whatever you do, do big. Mistakes are meant to be dealt with so you can get better. Successes are meant to be shared." He looked at me in the eye, smiled a bit, and said, "don't be afraid of mistakes. they make you better. and who knows? if you shoot for that high note, you might just make it and sound great."

He went back to his place in front and said, "lets take it from the top." And that was it.

I think he knew that all we needed was being believe in, and direction. Our talents would manifest as a result. We never had to be given assignments to take home, i don't think. or at least i didn't. It just became part of my life. when i wasn't practicing with him, i was thinking about how to improve. I would think about how to transpose whatever i would hear into workable pieces to play. He instilled in me .....purpose. And purpose in the small town was key for me. It was my purpose, and intimate and mine. He created a vision that i bought into. We COULD be great, so I wanted to live up to that greatness. I brought my 100%, and i saw that my classmates did too. sometimes we were good, sometimes we weren't, but we were held to that 100% standard, and he would let us know when we didn't show it.

I never worried that he would yell or cuss at us. But it would be horribly the thought of him being DISAPPOINTED in us. OR, Gulp, ME...

I don't know that it was like that for everyone, but i do see that he found each student's positive buttons. the "How to be even better" button that we each had. He could be stern, or funny. Whatever got me to that next level.

I could tell the adults he allowed into our space (the band booster club, the bus drivers, the chaperones....) bought into his teaching style too. They automatically brought the "you are enough to be more than you think" attitude with them. Some had shorter tempers than others. but they were all there because they wanted to be. -Sharon Thornton Montgomery "I had mr. javens as a teacher from 1983 through 1991"

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