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Kelsey Z.

April 14, 2005 at 6:31 PM

The one day I could sleep in this week and I re-scheduled a violin lesson for 9 in the morning. This turned out to be a really awesome way to start my day. I love teaching but sometimes struggle with seeing such big potential in a kid and knowing what they can do and yet time again feeling frustrated with how to motivate to practice or to come up with tactful ways of holding the childs concentration. The student I taught this morning I've been teaching for a couple of years now and she's a very gifted little kid when it comes to music and to almost every other area of her life. I have yet to meet any other 8 year old who has a sense of humour to such a level and this child knows my sense of humour and knows how to make jokes that will make me laugh and brighten my day. This morning's lesson turned out to be a really awesome way to start my day. I saw a huge leap in progress from last week (her Mom said she had practiced this week!) and in the short space of her lesson I saw huge progress as well. This is a special child to me too. Not only have I taught her the longest of any of my students, but she's fighting battles no child should have to fight and it's really exciting for me to see such a talented student when she's been able to have a good week and have her come for her lesson. It makes all the lessons where I'm left frustrated and scratching my head going "what can I do???" worth it. Today it was most definetly worth every minute I've spent with this kid and every minute earlier I had to get up this morning.

Teaching can be one of the most rewarding things. To see a student overcome obstacles and master an instrument is quite inspiring! It reminds me to appreciate what I can already do on the instrument even though I myself still have a lot to learn. I know longer have to be conciously thinking "now is that a low two or a high two?" "is that a whole note or a half note?" I'm beyond the point where I have to be so aware of reinforcing everything that I have to do in my playing because I've done it for so long but these kids that I teach are still trying to master the art of cooridination, counting, intonation and the creation of music. You really have to appreciate and value the things that you, as a teacher, have already mastered and remind yourself of what it's like to learn the violin all over again. Personally, it forces me to be a better, more concious player and a more appreciative one. I'm having to reinforce what I am doing so at to not have a student say "but your bow isn't straight!" and I have to be creative in my approach to help them master and understand everything involved in playing but not scare or overwhelm them.

Aside from teaching I'm getting comfortable with some new repertoire and gearing up for an audition! It's for a summer program and I'm looking forward to getting some live audition experience when I go to audition. I'm really enjoying the task of learning some new repertoire and can't wait to do some of it at a recital in June along with some of my favorite pieces that I've learned over the past year or so.

I'm working on my History 5 music course. I write the exam on Friday, May 13th. I've decided I'm doomed to pass! Not to fail, but to pass! One of the composers that I have to be familiar with (There are many to be sure) is Steve Reich. I hadn't heard much of Reich's stuff and knew very little about the composer until fairly recently. I had heard his piece "Different Trains" sometime ago but my sister and I were both covering the composer at the same time and this piece came up. I got some of the background on the piece and watched the video and was left with this feeling that's not really describable. It's a really profound, moving, work. The music, though minimalistic has this very evocative, imagery that either just listening to the music alone will evoke or watching the video will stimulate even more.

I need to get back to practicing and studying now.

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