A teacher's role is to encourage the music in their students.
My latest Blog entry
Let Your Students Fly
Over the course of several months I gave some trumpet lessons to Exxx, a 12 year old girl who was about to relocate to Japan with her family. She had been playing trumpet for about a year and had done some piano before that. Unfortunately for her, she wore braces on her teeth. These considerably reduced her playing stamina, and she found these hour long lessons quite a marathon.
At our last lesson she told me that she was looking forward to participating in the school concert later that week. When I asked what she was playing, she replied that she was not playing trumpet but singing in the choir. The choir would perform “Dona Nobis Pacem”, “Amazing Grace” and “Climb Every Mountain”.
Of course you can guess my next request……
“No - I couldn’t possibly”
But I started her on “Dona Nobis Pacem” giving her the first note. And that is the only real help I needed to give her. Plenty of encouragement, yes, but she played this song beautifully on her trumpet!
Then I asked her to play “Amazing Grace”. She was still a little reluctant, but with a little prodding she played this one very well, also.
Both these songs are quite simple harmonically and the melody is diatonic, so quite straightforward to play.
So, how about “Climb Every Mountain”? With the courage she had gained from the previous two songs she did the first “A” section of this chorus, very confidently. She had very little difficulty negotiating the chromatic alterations in the melody.
Thank you Exxx! You have the gift of music. I hope you continue to use it in whatever situation you find yourself.
My message to teachers is:
Yes, your students can also do this, it is not necessary to rely on the printed sheet. Please encourage and nurture their music, and let your teaching studio be a safe haven where they can have the confidence to allow themselves to make mistakes.