A very famous saying in this world is “Music is the Language of the Soul.” Growing up with a strong musical foundation, given to me by the Elmbrook school district as a student, set me on a path to want to teach and share the gift of music with students. On my journey participating in choirs and music programs, my eyes opened to the communities music creates, the acceptance in others it fosters, and the magical ways it can bring people from different backgrounds and beliefs together. 

Through music, my heart expanded and I learned more and more to accept people and their truths. The people I sang with in choir and the personal stories and emotions shared by composers enlightened me to many aspects of the human experience. Combining what I learned from music and what I learned about being an educator, I pushed to inspire my students to grow beyond the musical page and into thinking, feeling, understanding young adults. I never imagined I’d have the pleasure to return to teach in my home district for a few years and be amongst some of the very staff I had as a student. Working alongside people who went from being my instructors to my mentors to my colleagues. 

Living in the community in which you grew up can make it easy to revert to the norms you experienced growing up, but I am challenging myself now as a wife and mother to not be afraid to speak up and stand up for the things that need to change. Robyn is pushing for the very changes I see this community needs. Her statement “Love Wins” captures everything I am about and everything I see in the music classes I teach. That when we strive to get to know each other, listen to each other, and understand where each person is coming from we only become a stronger and better community. 

Robyn’s ability to listen to teachers about what they need for students is important to me. Her fight for us to be fairly represented as a new larger liberal group of residents is important to me.  And her support of a health care system that will get us through Covid-19 and then support us all after it is over, providing for students, parents, elderly and essential workers who will be nursing hidden mental wounds is important to me. Who Robyn is and what she stands for is important to me. The only path I see forward is one through empathy and kindness and remembering that LOVE WINS. – Erica