Today I spent some time cheering on some of my students. I teach grades 5-8 and these are all 5th graders on the All-Star team for baseball. Many of them have siblings that I have also taught. If you remember last year around this time, Tim had won the district title and was competing for the Section title and then the state title. He was supported by a lot of friends and family so I thought I'd pay it forward by going to support these guys. I had all the guys on the team in my music classes and they are all pretty fun to work with.
Sometimes people ask me how I get "non-musicians" to like music (or at least not dread music). The key for me is: relationships. Kids are more likely to work hard for you when they know that you care about who they are as a person rather than what grade they get. They like when I can chat with them about things that they care about, or realize that I can actually follow their conversation as they give me a play by play on their latest game. Sometimes its good to just show up. You never know which kid it might make a difference to.