Friday, September 30, 2011

Things Your Piano Teacher Will Not Tell You

The quotes that spurred this rant/epiphany/growth:
"When I wasn't hiding anything any longer, when I wasn't trying desperately to appear sane or put together or profound, I had nothing to lose. And I began to trust something even more fundamental than my craziness: my basic sanity."
Geneen Roth Lost and Found

"Culturally we've been scared away from our creativity by what my dear friend Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist's Way, calls creativity monsters--the voices from the past and present who criticize, attack, ridicule, and judge us, and who banish us from owning and expressing our creativity with joy and abandon....  They're the people who imply that creativity must be "good" in order to be valuable, who subject your work to public appraisal before you're allowed to join the club...
One of the problems that distances so many of us from our creative Spirit is the notion that being creative is synonymous with being a professional or an aspiring artist.  It's not.  It simply means making something new out of something that presently exists."
The Answer is Simple...Love Yourself, Live your Spirit!   Sonia Choquette

I don't create the desire for music - I can only nurture and support it.

Adult students show me that desire and passion overrule any preset rules about music education as child.

Music will call the child to it.  The music calls you - you do not call it.  This is why parents can't MAKE their children want to practice or love music.

Outside events and recitals build skills - but they don't build passion and love for the art of music.  Task oriented/checklist kids like these -but it doesn't mean they love music and creativity.  It could be they are too busy to relax and enjoy the process.  It could also mean it's just not there and piano is just one more thing they need to learn (to be well-rounded and smart, right?).

Who gives a shit if music raises test scores?  Just sayin'.

If, in their lesson,  your child can't tell a note from a piece of broccoli, they are too freakin' tired.  Nothing will go in.  Stop wasting everyone's time and put them to bed to restore.

There is no such thing as quitting piano- everyone quits and begins something.  It's called life cycles and seasons.

My desire for student approval, parent approval, and peer approval no longer dictate my teaching.  I have something that tops all of those: my experience, the gift of prayer, and intuition.

Stressful lessons come from the teacher (me) wanting the students to be "ready" for the next piano event.  Who cares?  I mean if they are ready then great.  If they are not?  Maybe they will be in a few months or next year.

I am not a students' God - I'm just a facilitator of the gift of music. [ BIG difference.]

You can show children pathways and possiblities - absolutely but ultimately - their calling comes from God. 

If you feel led to put your child in piano - then do it.  If you feel led to take them out - do that too.  There are no quitters in life, just people who are stubborn to start or stop something because they refuse to listen or pay attention to the ebb & flow of life.

I don't need to have my students in a "certain" recital, program, or association - to prove to you that I am a good teacher.

I feel good when I let go of thinking a student should be "here" or "there" by x date.
I feel good when I accept that a student may never be into piano.
I feel good when I show unconditional love to all students - regardless of ability.
I feel good when I honor a students' creativity and desire.  Conversely, I DON'T feel good when I make them learn stuff just to have it learned by a stupid date, at the expense of them playing something they truly love.
I feel good when I remember that I make a living teaching music and being a damn good musician - despite the fact I had "cheap" and supposedly unqualified teachers - by today's standards anyway.   I had NO lessons in high school because my parents didn't really care.   AND - I ended up with a music scholarship to college.  Therefore, what do I know about what makes a good musician as a child?

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