Tuesday, December 4, 2012

my students lately

I think we're overdue for a post featuring some of the things my students have said lately, don't you?


A conversation with eight-grade violin student E. C.:

Sarah: Who's your favorite violinist?
E: You mean in this room?
Sarah: There are only two violinists in this room!  No, I mean, who's your favorite violinist in the world?
E: Myself.


Sarah: Why did you ask if I meant in the room or in the world if your answer was someone in the room anyway?
E: I don't know.

*{I admit it, I laughed out loud}

In case you're wondering if a completely self-assured, confident eighth grade boy exists, the answer is yes.


Nine-year-old E. K. made me laugh at her lesson last week when she said, "My dad is old.  He's 43.  My mom is old too, but she wears makeup to try to look younger."


My student T., who's about nine or ten right now, was challenged by a teacher at her school to do something (anything) for twenty-one days in a row without missing a day.  She picked practicing her violin!  That warmed my heart, of course.  And she stuck with it and succeeded!  But not only that... she has continued to practice every day without missing a day for over forty days now!

When she reached her goal of 21 days, her mom took her to see From the Top live to celebrate T's achievement.  T. loved it, although she did seem a little perturbed when she told me about the really incredible young violinist she heard perform.  I could tell the wheels were turning in her head... it was the first time she had encountered a truly remarkable player not much older than herself.  After her lesson that week, her mom told me, "I do think that hearing such an exceptional little violinist might have made her wonder why she's playing the violin, if she's not that good."

I was thinking about that as T. and her mom left the lesson, and suddenly I dashed out the door after them.  T. turned back towards me, and I simply said, "You know, T., you don't have to be the best in the world at something to enjoy it a whole lot."

{If I didn't think that was true, I don't suppose I'd be playing the violin myself, either.}


Nine-year-old E. K. (yes, her again... what can I say, this girl is often good for blog material) was playing Minuet 1 in her lesson recently, and we were working on keeping a steady tempo without rushing.  After playing through a section, she stopped, concerned, and asked me, "Uh oh, did I fasten it up?"

So cute.

Also, when I demonstrated a section for her at her lesson last week, she said in quiet admiration, "You're so good!"

{Who needs fame and fortune?  I have sweet little students who think I'm pretty great.}


M., a very young cellist in the youth orchestra I conduct, is just about the cutest little guy imaginable.  Recently in rehearsal I said to a violinist, "Hey now K., why can't I get you to look up at me at the end for the ritardando?"  And M. piped up, "Maybe she can't look at you because she's intimidated by your great beauty!"



N. is playing her violin for a production of Fiddler on the Roof this month, and T. is playing with his school choir and at his church Christmas Eve service, and J. is playing in his school talent show, and E. plays at his church quite regularly, and wow, it just makes me happy that my students go out into the world and fill it with music.


Tonight I got an email from a student's dad, saying that Z. had left his lesson in great spirits after sight-reading Christmas music duets with me.  Apparently he was feeling tired and a bit down when he came to his lesson, and he returned home "in such a good mood."


A final one from young cellist M. again.  He recently said in a rehearsal, "Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah!"  I reminded him to raise his hand if he had a question, and he waved his hand, saying, "Well, it's not really a question, but Miss Sarah, you know that note the cellos have that we were just working on?  I'm going to play that note with proud."

Yes, with proud.

I thought of him saying that over the past weekend while I was playing an arrangement of the Carol of the Bells in a Christmas concert.  I'm not sure why his little comment popped into my head as I played soaring high notes, but it did, and I found myself thinking that I would play those notes "with proud."

So here's to you, M.  We should all play our own parts in life with the kind of joy, sparkle, intelligence, and "proud" that you do.

1 comment:

  1. These are great - makes me wish I was teaching full time again, but then again, my own girls give me enough material that it keeps my tank full.

    I asked one of my students last week who her favorite violinist was - she looked at me blankly - I said..."Apart from me, that is". She smiled but still couldn't answer me.