A Blessings from a student

Dear Ms. Henry and Ms. Murray,

It feels as if it were only yesterday that I was in your music class as a third grader at Bonnie Brae playing the recorder! Now, ten years later, after the hundreds of students that have passed through your classrooms, I can only hope that you both can remember me. My name is Karen Cueva and I am a violinist who is currently in my freshman year of college at The Juilliard School. Although many years have passed, the countless memories I hold from your classes are quite vivid for me: from listening to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on a TV, to performing Bonnie Brae’s famous “Reindeer Rap” for parents, to being Rev. Squeak in a third grade production of Huckleberry Finn, I say without reservation that many of my happiest moments from Bonnie Brae were from your tutelage.

I wanted to thank you both for the time and effort you put into our education because it was educators like you, who believed in my passion for music from the beginning. As a third grader learning to play the violin, I was honored and quite taken aback when you both suggested that I perform in front of my class. It was performing experiences like these that really catapulted my confidence on a stage, whether it was at school or at a classical music concert. Nowadays, I am performing throughout New York City at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, yet always make it a point to visit public schools to perform for elementary school-aged students and show them how fun classical music can truly be. I would love to one day come back to Bonnie Brae and see you both! I will do my best to come and visit over Spring Break if it coincides with FCPS Spring Break.

Thank you again for teaching me not only about music but about how to emerge from my shell and be the performer I had always dreamed of being.

Sincerely Yours,
Karen

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7 thoughts on “A Blessings from a student

  1. This wonderful student has served her gift exceedingly well. God has given her an astounding gift of skill and artistry beyond her years, in interpreting music as she plays her violin; as she has persevered, diligently and overcome shyness; for she was shy in the classroom in her demeanor but she had courage to pursue and allow us to encourage her to step out in her gift. And she did, extremely successfully.
    God bless you, Karen, as He began in your younger days and continues to give you wisdom, graciousness and grand artistry in your gift. We pray for your continued success and achievement in all that you pursue.
    May Jesus Christ be a larger and larger part of your life as HE has been a the largest part of your wondrous gift of music.

  2. It is wonderful to see how Karen is giving back both through her playing for and in elementary public schools gratis. And in giving gratitude strokes to her elementary public school music teachers.

    And, Karen, if you read this we would also like to hear about your faith journey.

  3. How great to read of Karen’s musical gift and the places she is able to perform. I have always enjoyed attending many of the musical performances at Bonnie Brae over the years. It is special to hear an account from a student who takes the time to write and share her joys, thankfulness and successes with others.

  4. There is a hymn, the lyrics of which sing, “He Keeps Me Singing All The Day” And it’s also letters like these which I have received over the years from students who remember their musical productions and choruses that they acted and sang in and their solo work; how, as instructors, we helped them choose a life’s profession in Music or teaching; some come back to visit at Bonnie Brae, all grown up…and these are some of the things that keep us singing and working in this “garden of children”. It is thrilling to hear about their successes and accomplishments.
    Now, the only part that is a little disconcerting is something that happened the other day when a little first grader came up to me in class and asked me, “did you ever have long hair?” i answered that I did but it was a long time ago. He said, ” I know. I saw you in my mother’s yearbook She was your student.” OH MY!!!

  5. MG,
    It must be so rewarding to hear of stories, such as these. God has truly blessed you with a gift of music. May He continue to bless you and guide you, as you teach and encourage each student.

  6. It truly is rewarding and such fun! We have wonderful children as students and it is such a happy job to work with these great kids. God has blessed us, exceedingly and I love my job.

    Thanks you very much, Needles!

  7. What a wonderful letter to receive. May you and Susan continue to be blessed in that garden of children. May Karen continue to grow in her sweet spot and I hope she grows into a beautiful Christian as well. I’d love to hear that story one day.
    I’ve been to a number of your performances and I must say they are fantastic and your students are always focused on doing the best job they do. Fantastic!

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