March 16, 2006 at 11:08 AMWell, what would you think if your new student showed up with pink hair held back by a black cat-ear headband? I was pretty excited, myself. Taylor is also the only student I’ve had so far who could carry on an entire conversation while playing through her piano assignments.
She is also the only student with an affinity for japanimation and theater, and she prefers the music of Danny Elfman over Alfred’s Basic Piano Curriculum. I don’t blame her, either. As she pointed out herself while struggling through the third measure, the oom-pah-pah’s of the left hand in “Blow the Man Down” sound a bit like circus music. “I hate circus music,” she remarked, while coordinating her dotted quarter note. “Watch out, or I’ll give you a monkey sticker for that!” I threatened. I have a wide assortment of silly stickers, mostly in the form of smilies, which I place on all performed literature that meets my approval. Some kids prefer yellow smileys, and some are pink fanatics. The monkeys are a bit frightening to most, though, and I bought them mostly for my own entertainment, to see how each student would respond to the idea of earning a monkey or a banana. Yeah, I admit, it sounds a bit degrading. But I guarantee it brings at least a chuckle into the lesson.
Taylor continued with her oom-pah-pah’s. “You know, every time I miss this part right here, God kills a kitten. At least, that’s what I tell myself to help me concentrate on getting it right.” ...Okay, whatever helps you focus. I personally couldn’t focus if I was picturing the slaughter of small innocent animals as the direct consequence of my failure. I’d be laughing too hard. “Hey, Taylor, here’s some further motivation: how about, every time you get this line right, God kills a clown.” By now, we were laughing more than anything else. But she got the line right, so who’s to say I’m such an awful teacher? I handed her a blue smiley instead of the juggling monkey. I’ll save the juggling monkey for Amari’s lesson tomorrow. She loves yellow bananas.
...Ooh, I just discovered two sheets of froggie stickers hidden behind the monkey sheets. Holy cow, Jonathan is going to be ecstatic about that! He’s been asking for frogs for a year and a half now, and Soldotna seems to be perpetually depleted of frogs, for whatever reason.
Now, if anyone could point me in the right direction to find a beginner arrangement of something from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, I would greatly appreciate it. Taylor insists on nothing else.
Fantastic line, Emily! I couldn't have worte it better!
Monkeys and frogs are the best for interacting with the drawings at the tops of the pages.
Linda, I meant that the thought of God being so evil provoked a funny mental image, that's all. (glowing halo)
Man, today's lessons are gonna be so fun.
TIme to check out the sticker section at Freddies, unless they sent all the good ones up north to cheer up the grey of winter's end.
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