As a private flute instructor, I’ve taught over 80 students in my short 12 years. I started fresh out of high school as I pursued my degree. Add in classes, clinics, ensembles and more, and I’m probably well over 200. That’s quite a stretch of personal human interaction and stimulation I get to have daily. At the end of the evening, after putting so much of myself into the lessons, I am pretty fried. I do have to say, however, that everyone of those moments is precious.
In the beginning, I was probably only helping those kids practice. I was fresh out of high school, starting my first year of college and following a suggestion from my teacher. I went to college in my hometown so I made a few calls and had over 3o students within the year. I taught 3 nights a week for 5 hours straight, 10 students each night. This was on top of taking many hours for my degree, working at a bar on the weekends and working at the multimedia center on our campus library in between classes. This has set the structure for my life. Well, those first few years of students didn’t get the best version of me as a teacher. I didn’t even know what the best version of me as a teacher would be and I honestly don’t think I’m there, yet. I remember being so exhausted in their lessons that I would actually feel as though I was going to fall asleep. I had expectations and very few of them met them because they wanted the lessons and I was desperately trying to motivate them but equally as desperately trying to stay awake. It was with those beginning students that I began to learn how to change my strategy for each individual and how important it was that I was the best performer I could be so that I could inspire them. That is why I received my degrees in performances; because in the long run, the better I am and the more I struggle, the more I can give back to those who are beginning their musical journey. I’m learning new things everyday.
Today’s quote from a freshman:
“Do you know the piccolo solo from Stars and Stripes”
oh if you only knew my high school experience
“I think I’ve decided it just sounds like a bunch of angry birds”