A Beautiful Work in Progress
Yesterday morning the Lower School Chorus and Recorder Club regaled the upper grades of the Lower School. The Great Room was packed with students, teachers, parents, and grandparents.
I'm sure Mrs. Mutter (the Director) and the parents were very proud of the students, who had obviously worked very hard and did a fine job. I was too. But one of the highlights for me was actually the piece that was not performed well. Mrs. Mutter led the students all the way through the piece and then said something like, "Some pieces are mastered and some pieces are a work in progress. That was a work in progress." Then she moved on to another piece, without frustration, regret, or shame. Soon she had the entire room swaying to "Elijah Rock."
I think it is important for a school to be a place where students can practice, struggle, take risks, learn from their mistakes. I think excellence is a goal but perfection is an idol. I think students need to know that in the end they sing not for Mrs. Mutter or their parents, but for the One who sang the world into existence and sings the Gospel to them every day. There was grace in Mrs. Mutter's remark and she taught the students an important lesson right in the middle of a performance.