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nietha handastya

Teacher, a father for a lifetime

June 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM

I always wondering about how people think of their teacher, moreover in something such as music, where your first teacher can be your teacher for a lifetime. Do you adore them, idolize them, or maybe even worship them. No one will ever know.

I'm a late starter and I started my violin lesson at my Uni, where we happen to have an orchestra with free violin lesson. So, I polish my technique on Thursday and practice my ensemble on Saturday. That makes me having 2 teacher. My Thursday teacher, Mr. J. B. Parnomo (we call him Pak Par for short), is someone around 70s and have about 50 years experience in music world. Both as choir trainer, and violin instructor (and viola). I've been studying with him for 3 years, thanks to my Uni who provide free lesson. So sometimes when there are no student who come at Thursday, i would be rejoicing because i would have a 2 and half hour of private session with him. And i also had another instructor. A conductor actually. A 70s year old man, whose name was Mr. Sunardi Suwandi (who we used to call Pak Nardi for short). Pak Nardi is a multi-instrument person. Let see. He played piano, violin, viola, clarinet, saxophone, flute. And maybe another instrument, i never know. He's a conductor to us. But when no one came at Saturday, he would help me polished up my violin technique, or even taught me how to play flute. Another 2 and half hour private session. It was a good time. They're both veteran in music world and i studied with them for no charge at all.

That was a good time. Both of them taught me more than just playing music. They taught me about life, catholic faith, and many more. But then, early this year, something happened. We got a shocking news. Pak Nardi just passed away due to heart attack. We were all in grief. Players who never showed up on our Saturday rehearsal all so sudden, showed up. A lot of things happen. We attended a requiem mass for him, got acquainted with his musician family, and some of us actually played some music before they closed the coffin and when the coffin was buried. I'm still not a good violinist. But playing for him, accompanying him to take his departure to the arm of God, made me feel emotional. As if i've done what a pupil should do to the teacher. And still, on 100th day tribute concert we arranged for him, far from perfect, but we played a song, O Sanctissima, without any sheet at all, just by memory of the song sung at the Church. We played it awfully. But it was from our heart so I think he might be smiling in heaven, watching how awful we played.

Until today, whenever i play, i would sometimes hear his voices told me to be more piano, not forte, or his hand pushing my stomach and told me to breath rightly when blowing my flute. A teacher, or a Master, is a father for a lifetime, said an old Chinese Proverb. So for me, my music teachers are kind of substitute parent for me, since I was orphaned 5 years ago. It's amazing how a teacher would pass down their knowledge to the pupil, don't you think? :) For now, I'll just keep studying hard under Pak Par while i have a chance to.


From Atilla Yasar
Posted on June 23, 2012 at 6:03 PM
I tried to type down what I love about my teacher (also a late starter, for 18 months now) but the only thing I came up with is that just thinking about her gives me a nice feeling (sometimes a warm smile) and that she has immensely brightened, colored and richened my life and me as a person. Not like a mother, sister, friend. Maybe the closest thing would be a teacher who taught me not only about music, but also about the beauty of life.

I can't really imagine how you, as an orphan with a family that doesn't love music so much would feel about a teacher like that. Because I don't have any unusual (household) family features and I live in a big family who all love music but I think your little story conveyed your admiration and warm thoughts about your teacher and I'm sure mr Pak Nardi is really happy to have a student like you. I hope that one day, he will smile again, not because you played so awfully, but because he can see what a great violinist you've become :)

Thank you for posting this, it kinda moved me :P

From nietha handastya
Posted on June 24, 2012 at 6:41 AM
Thanks for the nice comment, Atilla :)
From Mary C. Palmer
Posted on June 26, 2012 at 3:39 AM
I am moved as well. Music has always spoken to me in a way that other forms of communication have not and my bond with my teacher, albeit new, is a very special one. He sees me at my most vulnerable and through tips in expression and technique, I find he inevitably taps into something much deeper than just kinda works its way out in my playing.

My condolences for your loss. Please keep playing and sharing. You are an inspiration.

From Corwin Slack
Posted on June 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM
You touched a chord. The teacher of my teenage years who launched me into a lifetime of playing passed away about two months ago. He was 91. I am now nearly 60. Although we had only spoken once in the intervening years I do have a deep respect for his teaching and his interest in my development.

Interestingly, was how his wife was able to find me and let me know of his passing and allow me the opportunity to remember him. Thanks Laurie.

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