Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Had To Share This Letter From A Student

As a bit of background, Mrs. Millie Nash is a Burlington resident and retired teacher from the Burlington School System.  At the beginning of the year, she asked if she could audit Mr. Lovell's Music Theory Class this year.  I wrote a bit about this back in November.  The experience continues to be a great success and I hope we have the opportunity to make similar connections with other retirees in our community in the future.

Here is a letter I recently received from Mrs. Nash -

Dear Patrick,

Last evening a former MSMS colleague phoned to arrange a spring break get-together.
When I asked in surprise, “When’s spring vacation?” my friend exclaimed, “I should think that your classmates would keep you posted on such things.”

It was then I realized that no one in my Theory/Comp. I class ever talks about vacations—or even weekends.  I almost came to school on Good Friday because no one even mentioned that three-day weekend.  (Luckily someone had provided me with a school year calendar so that I didn’t make the mistake of arriving to an empty building.)

And I realize how seldom I can use a computer during class—because absences are so rare in Matt Lovell’s class. (I know because there is rarely an unoccupied computer for me to use.)  And when I stay to work on assignments during the following periods when Matt has duty and a free period, I share the room with quite a few others who work as concentratedly as I.

Finally, the general responses to the bell at the end of second period are surprised groans by students.  How often does that happen in a school?

What makes the engagement of Matt Lovell’s students all the more amazing is that most adults to whom I mention taking Music Theory—if they’ve taken such a course (often in college)—exclaim about the tediousness of it.  In my class most of the kids, when told to pick a key in which to start a new assignment, pick one with 5 flats or sharps—just for the challenge.

To elicit such enthusiasm for a THEORY course seems to be almost unheard of elsewhere.  I am indeed fortunate to be a part of this learning environment—and Burlington is indeed lucky to have a music department with teachers such as Matt Lovell and John Middleton-Cox (whose “Titanic” was simply phenomenal!)!

Millie Nash


  1. Mrs. Nash is one of the coolest people in the world. Very forward thinking of everyone who was a part of this auditing situation.

  2. Millie Nash is incredible!!! She had made an astounding contribution to this community!! What a great mentor to all of us!!

  3. My daughter attended Milly Nash's classes at the middle school in Burlington as part of the BEAM program. Some 20 years later she still speaks of Millie Nash with fondness and respect as a person, teacher, and mentor. A teacher with great skills in listening, retired as she may be, is still having an impact on Kristen, her children, and the community as well as a proud grand parent.