June 2007

Violin Boot Camp-- Oh the joys of teaching.

June 4, 2007 13:19

"Someday, I'm going to host a violin boot camp and we're going to fix your posture," I had promised my friend Diana at the beginning of the year. I was, of course, only half-kidding. Her posture may have not been killing her, but it was sure killing me!

"How about it?" I asked her later that day. Giving me a look of disbelief as an answer, she demanded to know if I was threatening her. (I answered in the affirmative.)

Ironically, I received an email from Diana just two Mondays ago.

You know, we should have that violin boot camp sometime soon...

I rubbed my hands manically together. "Yes," I said to the wall, "Yes, we really should."

We did have the boot camp. In fact, we have since had two. Both were on Saturdays and each lasted about five hours. They consisted of bowing and posture adjustment, scales, snack break, piece, Lite-Brite break and story time, sightreading, pushups, curlups, climbing through windows, experimenting, interpretive dancing, singing, drooling, laughing et al.

During the boot camps, I discovered that my unconscious mind knows more than my conscious. I would explain a concept or suggest an approach, and then I would wonder where the heck I got it from. I began to see my own practicing in a whole new light. For example, there was this one group of notes that Diana couldn't play in tune. I asked her why she thought it necessary to lift her first finger up during the first note in the passage. She didn't know, tried keeping it down, and it worked magic! (To quote Diana: "Wow! That's genius!) The next time I came across a 'impossible' passage in my own practicing, I made sure to look for the simple errors. (And it worked magic!) My brain just seemed to scream, "Gosh, I understand what the fingers have been doing all these years now!"

Getting cash for doing something I love is just too great of a concept. However, though getting money was a plus, getting an ego boost was the topping on the cake. ;) Diana gave me a compliment that I think I'm going to value for the rest of my life.
"I think I learned more from you about the violin now than I did in my whole life."

I'm getting to like the idea of a weekly violin boot camp. Imagine?

"Where were you yesterday?"
"Oh, I was at a boot camp..."

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