I love playing at all schools, but really enjoy when I have a connection to it. I have played at a few of the schools I used to attend, schools where I knew students from teaching them guitar at summer camp, and schools whose principals I have known since I was young.
This week I had a connection to a school as it was where a great friend of mine is the music teacher. In a time where music programs are usually slim or non-existent due to budget cutbacks, she is an inspiration for injecting music and all of its benefits into a school. In the average day she is playing piano in the front foyer to greet fellow teachers as they walk in, using her lunch hour to run a guitar club, and orchestrating harmony from the chaos of 20 students blowing into recorders.
For the weeks leading up to my performance, she was also introducing students to my music. I don’t know how much she built me up, but when I walked into the school, I’m pretty sure they mistook me for John Mayer!! There were welcome posters all over place, students were singing to all the songs during my performances, and some even had big “E” cut outs taped to their shirts in resemblance of EpiMan! In my lifetime, I have given my signature to more phone bills than autograph requests, but on this day I’m pretty sure I got writer’s cramp!!
The highlight of the day was being presented with a very special award which the whole school had voted on. The school had started a “Hallway of Heroes” and selected me as the newest recipient to which I am very humbled to receive. I told my friend that this really wasn’t necessary as I would never dream of putting myself in a category with real heroes. She replied that they voted for me because they wanted to have someone up on the wall who not only makes a difference in the community, but someone that THEY have a connection to.
After a day like that I am reminded of how thankful I am for all the people I meet, and good friends I have.