Thank you!

Every one of us wants to make a difference in this world. And in every case, we all do. Some do it in a positive fashion and some in a negative fashion. But in the end, in the course of our life, we will make a difference.

I am dedicating this blog to people that have made a difference in peoples’ lives through music education. I invite you to share your stories about a music teacher that made a difference in your life.

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5 Responses to Thank you!

  1. David Greene says:

    Dr Menghini,

    I was one of the drum majors at Winnetonka in 1985. I am currently a senior software developer at a small KC insurance firm. It is great to see that you are still motivating and teaching young musicians. A co-worker of mine has a daughter that is looking into going to Missouri State University (Jerry Hoovers) band which was where you helped me to go at the time. She is a part of her high school drill team and her dad was in DCA which made me think of my old Band days and you and the motivation you gave to me to be a leader. It is the one thing that has stayed with me throughout my life, to always stride to lead. Although I no longer play I still try to instill in my 4 kids how important music, motivation, and being a leader is in your life. Thanks for making a difference!
    David M. Greene

  2. Gina Wilson says:

    Hi Mr. Menghini,
    I think this blog a wonderful idea and I hope many others will find it and share their stories.
    Here’s mine: I was a member of your first class at Winnetonka in 1976. Back in those days I was afraid of everything. I didn’t fit in and it seems to me now that it must have been obvious at least to the adults in my life, that things in my life were scary. Those things I was afraid of included you. You were so young and vibrant, larger than life, with so much energy that it seemed to crackle around you. You were like a shining god on an alabaster pedestal , so very far away from the rest of us, and yet not.
    We did not actually have many conversations and even when you were complimenting me it seems I always walked away with my heart pounding. One, though, has always stayed with me (it’s a two-parter, so be patient). One morning, in frustration that very few were paying attention, you threw your keys at my music stand (I was conveniently seated near your right hand). The noise of it scared crap out of me – and certainly got everyone’s attention. As you were young, impetuous and had something of a lightening quick temper in those days, this was not every day behavior, but it was also not without precedent. You fussed, we regrouped, we moved on.
    Later that day (the Part Two I mentioned earlier), we passed in the hall and you stopped me. My heart pounded with dread. I was sure (as I always was when you spoke to me) that you were going to throw me out of the band or tell me that I should just sell my instrument and take a steno class. Instead, you reached out, touched me lightly on the arm and said “I’m sorry if I scared you this morning.”
    As an adult, I look back on those days and realize that in your own way you tried several times over those years to reach out, to make a connection that would draw me into a group. It didn’t work, I was too afraid; but I sincerely am touched by your efforts.
    You know those goofy internet quizzes that get passed around? There was one that asked “If you could speak to anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you say?” My answer was “Mr. Menghini, my high school band director” and “I would say ‘Thank you, for making a difference’.
    You may not even remember me, and that’s ok. As an educator you touch the lives of so many, year after year, it is impossible to remember them all. But, just in case you do, I turned out ok. I live in Northridge, California (land of the earthquake), have been married for 20 years and have three amazing boys ages 19, 14, and 8. The oldest is training to be a wildland fire fighter. The middle one is following in his footsteps as quickly as he can, and the 8-year-old is plotting to take over the universe. I am the Dean of Students at a very small charter school where I work with at-risk kids.
    I learned many things from you that I still live by today: never quit; there’s always a solution – you may have to try several before you get to one that works, but there’s always a solution; take PRIDE in all that you do.
    So, Mr. Menghini, I thank you for creating this forum that gives me the opportunity to say “Thank you, for making a difference” – Gina (Lucas) Wilson

    • cmenghini says:

      Hi Gina:

      Thank you so much for your wonderful post to my blog. It sounds like you are doing well and making a difference in this world. Good for you! Dean of Students at a Charter School is an important career. You are having a tremendous impact on the lives of your students, I am sure.

      You know, I wish I could go back to the Winnetonka Days with the same passion of old and with “today’s” knowledge base. I can only imagine the things that we could have done…or maybe it would never have been. But it doesn’t matter because we just cannot change the past. I do thank you, though, for your kind comments and for reaching out. It was a great time in our lives. I would never trade the memories.

      Take care, hope our paths cross one of these days. My wife, Wanda and I own a place in Palm Springs, CA and vacation there from time to time. How far are you from PS?

      All the best,

      Charlie Menghini

  3. Hi Charlie,

    I am enjoying reading your blog – didn’t know you had one until tonight! Some great advice, perspective, and commentary – I hope your students are making use of this as well. I am looking forward to seeing you at Midwest this year. Thanks again for playing Irish Jig for Young Feet last year – I received many positive comments and feedback from that performance. Best wishes to you and all the students at Vandercook!

    • cmenghini says:

      Thanks Travis. I appreciate the kind words.

      Hope your year is going well and I look forward to seeing you at the Midwest Clinic as well.

      Charlie Menghini

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